Guilty pleas entered for abuse by former nursing home employees

When a loved one is put in the care of a Kentucky nursing home, you expect the care he or she receives to be above reproach. Unfortunately, in the neighboring state of Tennessee, that was not the case for several residents of a nursing home.

On Tuesday, July 15, four former employees of the Appalachian Christian Village nursing home pleaded guilty to two counts each of willful abuse, neglect or exploitation of a dependent adult. A fourth employee was charged with failing to report the abuse. One other employee was charged in connection with the case, but has already pleaded guilty at an earlier date.

The four employees, three women and one man, were all certified nursing assistants or CNAs at the facility. Sentencing will be handed down in September. The three charged with abuse, neglect or exploitation could be sentenced to one to two years in prison, while the other one faces up to one day shy of a year in jail. This is because this charge of failing to report the abuse is a misdemeanor.

The charges stem from incidents that happened in December 2011 and January 2012. The nursing home found out that three of the employees sprayed some of the residents with water. Two of the other employees did not report the incident. In addition, photos were taken of some of the residents exposed breasts and buttocks. Those pictures were then shown around to others. An investigation found that the reason the employees did this was because they thought the reactions from the residents "would be comical."

The incidents were recorded on video and there were allegedly other photos taken. Those videos and pictures were also shown to others.

The nursing home was fined $3,000 by the state Department of Health and no new admissions were allowed until February 2012. At that time, the Department of Health had completed its investigation and decided the facilities had corrected the problem.

If you believe your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the authorities and an experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney. You and your loved one may be able to file a civil action for such claims as pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses, and other damages.

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