“Shocking Indifference” Towards Resident’s Wellbeing Shown by Nursing Home Staff
Former nursing home employees Wanda Nuckles, Mable Turman and Loyce Agyeman were indicted by a grand jury after a hidden nursing home video revealed they blatantly ignored a dying resident as he begged for help in their DeKalb County facility.
Background of the Victim
James Dempsey was admitted into Northeast Atlanta Rehab Center for assistance with his activities of daily living. He needed help from staff to perform normal everyday activities like eating, bathing and getting dressed. He was oxygen-dependent and would occasionally require help breathing from a portable oxygen machine. Due to his underlying condition, he was too weak to get out of bed and get the oxygen machine himself.
Mr. Dempsey boldly served our country in World War II. It is shameful that he survived the deadliest conflict on the planet, yet died due to nursing home negligence.
How Nurses and Staff Neglected Mr. Dempsey
“Video surveillance shows the patient suffering in respiratory distress and repeatedly calling out for help,” the Dekalb district attorney said. “Soon after his distress calls, the victim became unresponsive.”
James calls out multiple times, saying “Help me … help me.” No one responds. The horrific videos then show the nurses laughing as they leisurely attempt to resuscitate Mr. Dempsey with the oxygen machine.
Justice for James Started With a Lawsuit
Two of the nurses lost their license as a result of this incident. Three nurses will face criminal charges and jail time for elder abuse. Unsurprisingly, the nursing home attempted to seal the video so it would not reach the public.
The Dempsey family brought a nursing home abuse lawsuit as a result of this preventable tragedy. It is important to note that it was the civil lawsuit that spurred law enforcement to open the criminal investigation.
This story underscores what we say to all our clients: even though we can only seek monetary damages, nursing home abuse lawsuits are about much more than money.
Chronology of How The Abuse Was Exposed
- Wrongful death lawsuit
- Damning deposition testimony in the civil case
- Actual video of James dying produced in the civil lawsuit
- National media attention/law enforcement action
As nursing home negligence lawyers, we are not shocked by this video. Sadly, this kind of neglect occurs daily inside America’s long term care facilities. It is only through videos like this one, civil lawsuits and legislative change that we can hold those bad actors accountable for allowing our most vulnerable patients to die under their care.
Portions of the video and the depositions of the nurses can be seen here.