A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrests Of Two Nursing Home Aides Who Failed To Provide Care Resulting In Death Of Elderly Resident
Aide Enlisted Colleague To Cover Up Crime, Both Face Jail Time
Schneiderman: My Office Will Pursue Those Whose Negligence Causes Harm To Our Most Vulnerable Citizens
WHITE PLAINS – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrests of Maureen Flowers and Donna Pagan, Certified Nurse Aides at Tarrytown Hall Care Center, for causing the death of an elderly resident by failing to provide care and covering up the crime.
On February 15, 2012, Flowers was assigned to provide care for an 86 year-old-resident of the Care Center who suffered from several debilitating physical ailments that prevented her from walking and rendered her totally dependent upon the staff. Due to her condition, the resident’s care plan required a mechanical lift and two persons to move her from her bed to a wheelchair. Flowers, 53, had been trained extensively in the use of mechanical lifts, including the necessity of two persons in performing any transfer to ensure the safety of the residents.
However, Flowers attempted to transfer the resident by herself with the use of a lift. During the transfer, the resident fell to the floor, suffering fractures to her spine and right leg, a broken nose and bruising to her face. Instead of seeking immediate help, Flowers left her patient bleeding on the floor while she sought out Donna Pagan, 35, and asked her colleague to lie and say she had assisted her as she attempted the transfer.
It was only after Pagan agreed to the cover up that Flowers obtained medical attention for her patient, who died two hours later at Westchester Medical Center. In interviews and written statements provided to supervisory staff of the Care Center, Flowers and Pagan stated that they had both been present during the attempted transfer.
“This is a sad and disturbing case of a nurse’s aide who, by ignoring both the rules of the home where she worked and her training, caused the death of one of our most vulnerable citizens,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “While most nursing home employees work tirelessly to ensure a safe environment for those in need, my office will aggressively pursue those who place seniors in harm’s way and then enlist others to cover up their crimes.”
Flowers, who lives in the Bronx, is charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person, or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a Class D felony. She faces up to seven years in state prison. Pagan, of Peekskill, N.Y., is charged with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a Class E felony. Pagan faces up to 4 years behind bars. The women will be arraigned in Tarrytown Justice Court.
The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General William McClarnon of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the supervision of Regional Director Anne Jardine, Chief of Criminal Investigations Kelly Donovan and Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin. The investigation was led by Special Investigator Timothy Connolly, under the supervision of Supervising Special Investigator Paul Greenspan and Chief Investigator Thaddeus Fisher.