Seven nurses formerly employed at Vineland Developmental Center in Vineland, New Jersey, are now facing criminal charges based on allegations of a resident of that facility. Wendy Hart, a physically and mentally disabled resident, suffered a broken finger while under the care of nurses at the facility in or around early 2012. Two registered nurses and five licensed practical nurses who treated the injury allegedly bandaged Hart’s finger and hand too tightly, causing a case of gangrene severe enough that the hand later had to be amputated as a result. The nurses involved in this tragic incident are now being charged with criminal neglect, as well as official misconduct and tampering with records. All seven nurses who are facing such charges, as well as an eighth nurse not facing such charges, were fired as a result of the incident, and could potentially be subject to civil lawsuits seeking damages to compensate the neglect victim.
New Jersey Nursing Home Regulations for Neglect
N.J.S.A. 2C:24-8 makes neglect of elderly or disabled persons a criminal offense. Under N.J.A.C. 8:39-4.1(a)(5), elderly or disabled residents of care facilities have a right to live a facility that will not neglect or abuse its residents, and New Jersey law allows victims like Wendy Hart to pursue damages to compensate for their medical expenses and pain and suffering. Although the amount of damages allowed may unfortunately be limited by law in some instances, additional damages can also be sought by naming multiple defendants, including the care facility and any members of the facility’s staff who may have been at fault in an incident, such as the eight nurses involved here. Facility administrators and the Department of Nursing may also be named as additional defendants to help maximize the amount of damages that can be recovered for abuse or neglect in a facility setting, in order to ensure that the victim is justly compensated.
If you or a loved one have concerns regarding how you were treated or the care received at nursing care facility, please call us to discuss what options may be available to compensate for your injuries.