Assisted Living Workers Arrested for Moving Patient's Dead Body After Fall Before Police Arrived
Two assisted living staffers were recently charged with obstruction of justice after they moved the body of a patient who had fallen, hit his head, and died, and rearranged his furniture, before police could arrive to investigate the fall. The patient fell one day earlier, hit his head, went to the hospital, returned to the assisted living facility, and went to bed.
The next morning, the patient's roommate woke up and saw his body on the floor between the two beds in the room. The roommate summoned a member of the assisted living facility's staff who, instead of calling 911, telephoned the owner of the facility. The owner of the facility arrived, and 911 was not called until later. Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, pronounced the patient dead, and instructed the assisted living facility's staff to call police. Before police could arrive, the facility's staff moved furniture in the room and moved the patient's dead body, leaving streaks of blood under his head, on the walls, and all over the furniture. When police learned about the actions of the facility's staff, the staffers were immediately arrested. Read more about the investigation.
I don't know how to react to this story other than to say that the staff of the assisted living facility did just as poor a job trying to hide the evidence and cover up the scene of the patient's death as they did taking care of the man in the first place. Nowhere in the report of the incident did I read that staff kept a closer eye on the patient after he fell the day prior, sustained a head injury, and went to the hospital. That the staff claimed they thought the patient was sleeping the next morning in the middle of the floor when in fact he dead, that staff left streaks of blood on the floor and walls from dragging his lifeless body to a new position before police arrived, and that staff was caught red handed doing so speaks volumes about the facility and the competence of its staff.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.
Posted on Wed, October 1, 2008
by Robert Carter