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When a picture costs $1M

May 11, 2017
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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An Austin, Texas, nursing home is being sued for after an employee posted photographs and videos on Snapchat mocking a resident with advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

An attorney representing the 83-year-old woman filed a lawsuit alleging negligence by Regency HIS of Windsor Duval, LLC and Regency Integrated Health Services, LLC. The family is seeking $1 million for bodily damages and court costs.

Carlos Alberto Santa Cruz, 23, was a certified nursing aide at Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Duval. He has been charged with assault by contact of an elderly individual, a Class A misdemeanor. Court documents say it appeared Santa Cruz also used a feather to tickle the sleeping woman so she would touch her face with her right hand, which had dried feces on it.

The lawsuit says the nursing home should never have hired Santa Cruz because he been arrested for fraud, marijuana possession and criminal mischief. The lawsuit also claims the nursing home “lied, denied and covered up the abuse.”

“It goes without saying that the care and safety the defendants provided departed from acceptable standards of health care,” according to the lawsuit.

 The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, a branch of the state’s Health and Human Services Commission,  has a quality reporting system on its website that lists the facility with an overall rating of 38 out of 100, well below the national average.

 

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