A.G. Schneiderman Announces Manslaughter Charges Against Aide In Death Of Disabled Westchester Nursing Home Resident
Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Brings Homicide Charges Against Nurse’s Aide For Ignoring Basic Rules; Allegedly Causing Death Of 86-Year-Old Patient
Schneiderman: Our Most Vulnerable Patients Must Be Properly Cared For
WESTCHESTER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arraignment of Maureen Flowers, a Certified Nurse Aide, on Manslaughter and Criminally Negligent Homicide charges for the 2012 death of an 86-year-old resident at Tarrytown Hall Care Center, where she worked. If convicted of the top count Flowers, 54 of the Bronx, faces up to 15 years in state prison.
“Because of this aide’s disregard of basic safety measures and precautions meant to protect the vulnerable seniors she served, a woman died,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “The egregious lack of care afforded this frail resident warrants the serious charges against this aide. It is my office’s duty and obligation to investigate and prosecute those that place our seniors at risk.”
On February 15, 2012, Flowers was assigned to provide care for the resident who suffered from several debilitating physical ailments which prevented her from walking or speaking and rendered her totally dependent upon the staff for her care. 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, who was then responsible for the daily care of residents at the center, had been trained extensively in the use of mechanical lifts - including the necessity of two persons in performing any transfer and other safety measures - to ensure the safety of the resident.
Nonetheless, Flowers allegedly used the lift by herself and ignored other safety measures when she transferred the resident. During the transfer, she dropped the resident to the floor causing her to suffer fractures to her spine and right leg as well as a broken nose and bruising on her face.
Instead of seeking immediate help for the woman, Flowers left her bleeding on the floor while she sought out another aide, Donna Pagan,and asked her to lie and say she had assisted her when she transferred the resident. It was only after the other aide agreed to the cover up that Flowers obtained medical attention for the resident, who died two hours later at Westchester Medical Center. In interviews and written statements provided to supervisory staff of the Care Center, which is located at 20 Wood Court,Flowers stated that the other aide had been present during the transfer.
In addition to Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class C felony, and Criminally Negligent Homicide, a Class E felony, Flowers is also charged in the indictment with Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a Class D felony, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a Class E felony, and two counts of Willful Violation of Health Laws, which are misdemeanors.
Flowers, who was arraigned before Westchester County Court Judge Susan Cacace today, faces a maximum of five to fifteen years in state prison. The charges against the defendant are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Flowers was previously arrested in the case and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person or an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree for the incident involving the death of the woman. Earlier this month, the Attorney General’s Office presented evidence for the grand jury’s consideration which led to the charges in the indictment, including Manslaughter in the Second Degree.
Pagan plead guilty on March 20 in Tarrytown Justice Court to Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a misdemeanor. She faces a sentence of three years probation when she is sentenced. For further information on the case, click here.
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, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney, Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. The investigation was led by Special Investigator Timothy Connolly, under the supervision of Supervising Special Investigator Pete Markiewicz.