Utica Nurse Aide Charged In Elderly Patient's Fall

State Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Utica certified nurse aide has surrendered to authorities after a 101-year-old patient she was supposed to be caring for fell and broke her hip. The aide did not report the fall, and the patient's injury was not discovered for nine hours.

Jodi Guyett, 30 of 1206 Court St. in Utica, was arraigned today in Utica City Court before Judge John Balzano on four counts: two of Wilful Violation of Health Laws, one of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person, and one of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree.

"There is no reason why a 101-year-old woman had to endure such a traumatic incident at a fragile stage in her life," said Spitzer. "Nursing home employees are responsible for the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens, and my office will prosecute anyone who violates laws written to protect them"

The patient was a resident of St. Joseph Nursing Home. On September 2nd of this year, Guyett allegedly left her unattended on a toilet seat in violation of the resident's care plan. As a result, the female resident fell. When the aide found her on the floor complaining of pain in her right hip, Guyett did not report the fall. Instead, the aide stood the resident up and put her back in her wheel chair.

When the resident's injury was discovered nine hours later, she was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center where she underwent surgery to repair a broken hip. The resident died two days later in the hospital, three days after the fall.

Guyett was employed at the nursing home for six years but was terminated as a result of the incident.

The case was referred to the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by the State Department of Health, which was contacted by the nursing home.

The case is being handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Norman S. Hatt of Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado.

The charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent at this time. Guyett has been released on her own recognizance. She has been directed to reappear in court for a pre-trial conference on November 23rd.

The Attorney General urges anyone with information regarding abuse or neglect of residents in nursing homes to report them to the NYS Department of Health at 1-800-425-0319.