Police in Cincinnati, Ohio have charged three employees of the Price Hill Nursing Home with patient neglect. Police received a call around 1:45 a.m. Monday morning from a resident inside the home saying he had been left alone. Investigators checked and found the three workers had vacated their posts at the 50-bed facility. Read the newspaper article and view the local newscast on this recent development.
Virginia law requires it citizens to report suspected abuse and neglect of the elderly to the local Department of Social Services or Adult Protective Services. See, Virginia Code Annotated § 63.2-1606. Virginia law also makes such acts of abuse and neglect a crime. See, Virginia Code Annotated § 18.2-369. However, a quick search of the case annotations to these Virginia laws reveals only one prosecution over the last 14 years – and the prosecution did not involve a nursing home! How can this be true?
My law firm has successfully handled to conclusion over two dozen nursing home cases in which there was an abundance of proof of abuse and neglect. State-wide the number of successful civil cases against nursing homes for abuse and neglect must exceed several hundred since the criminal statute was first enacted in 1992.
Can anyone explain to me why the City and County Commonwealth Attorneys throughout Virginia fail to prosecute nursing home employees who violate these laws?