AG: Two More Employees Arrested in Connection With Nursing Home Resident Death

Nine Suffolk County Nursing Home employees were indicted in connection with the 2012 death of a resident.

Medford Multicare Center for Living (Google Maps photo)
Medford Multicare Center for Living (Google Maps photo)

Two more employees of a Medford nursing home were arrested Thursday as part of an ongoing criminal negligence case related to the death of a resident in October 2012, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office. 

Marianne Fassino, 53, of Shirley, and Leona Gordon, 35, of Medford, were arrested in connection with the death of a 72-year-old female resident who was at Medford Multicare Center for Living, Inc. for what was supposed to be temporary rehabilitation, according to the release.

According to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the resident died as a result of not being connected to a ventilator machine at night despite explicit orders to the contrary from her doctor. Fassino, a registered nurse, was in charge of the home’s ventilator unit the night of the death. According to the release, Fassino failed to respond to the visual and audio alarms for almost two hours despite being inches away from monitors. She now faces felony charges. 

Gordon, an aide who was responsible for watching the unit’s alarm monitor in the nursing station to ensure that any alarms were answered in a timely manner, also faces charges today.

“The negligence alleged in this case is criminal and will not be tolerated in New York nursing homes,” Schneiderman said. “Today’s indictment sends a clear message: We will arrest those who put our most vulnerable citizens in harm’s way, and in particular those who neglect or deny life-saving medical treatment to patients. We must and will do everything in our power to protect our nursing home residents from abuse.”

Seven others were arrested and charged in February including registered nurse Kimberly Lappe, 31, of Medford; licensed practical nurse Victoria Caldwell, 51, of Medford; aide Christina Corelli, 37, of East Patchogue; aide Patricia DiGiovanni, 62, of Port Jefferson; licensed administrator David Fielding, 56, of West Lido Beach; director of respiratory therapy Christine Boylan, 49, of Mastic; and respiratory therapist Kethlie Joseph, 62, of Brentwood. 

All the defendants face up to four years behind bars on the 27 felony counts charged in the indictment, according to the release. The indictment includes 46 counts, ranging from misdemeanor ‘willful violation of health laws’ to the top count of criminally negligent homicide. Administrators and employees were also charged in the coverup and the corporation operating the home was indicted on charges of attempting to cover up the circumstances of the death. 

“We will not tolerate the denial of critical life support by caregivers,” Schneiderman said.  

Earlier this year, the Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit charging the home’s owners with corporate looting and fraud which detailed a long history of resident neglect and systematic corporate looting. 

According to the release: “the civil complaint details how Medford’s owners lined their pockets with millions in public Medicaid funds while turning a blind eye to persistent neglect of residents by senior management and staff. Since opening Medford in 2003, the owners systematically looted the facility by paying themselves at least $60 million, representing 22 percent of the Medicaid funding they received in that time.”

Rollo Tomasi June 06, 2014 at 04:59 PM
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