Elderly war veterans who have served their country valiantly have a right to be treated with respect in their twilight years. Tragically, this did not appear to happen with a Georgia war veteran who recently died at a care home.
Three staff members at the Georgia senior-care facility were indicted over charges that they caused the death of an elderly resident and covered it up.
In February, almost four years after Georgia war veteran James Dempsey, 89, of Woodstock, died, former nurses Loyce Pickquet Agyeman, Wanda Nuckles and aide Mable L. Turner were charged in connection with his death, ABC reported.
World War Two Navy Veteran James Dempsey entered the Northeast Atlanta Rehabilitation Center in Brookhaven, Georgia. In early 2014. His family informed Brookhaven police he was having liver problems and was undergoing dialysis treatment.
Dempsey said he was concerned about staying overnight at the center so family members installed hidden cameras in his room.
After the veteran’s death, his family took the camera home and were shocked as they watched the footage.
The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release:
“Video surveillance shows the patient suffering in respiratory distress and repeatedly calling out for help. Soon after his distress calls, the victim became unresponsive. The indictment alleges the defendants, in varying degrees, failed to provide timely and necessary medical assistance, ultimately resulting in Mr. Dempsey’s death.”
The death of the Georgia war veteran led to a wrongful death lawsuit against the center, alleging negligence against the staff.
While the civil suit was settled, the video footage formed the basis of a criminal investigation between the DA’s office and local law enforcement.
In the video Dempsey is seen lying in his hospital bed, gasping for air and requesting help six times.
The indictment claims Agyeman failed to call 911 when Dempsey complained about his heart. This was contrary to medical instructions in his chart stating that he should be sent to a hospital if he suffered chest pain.
The complaint said that Agyeman and Nuckles began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation about an hour after he became unresponsive.
In a sworn deposition in 2015, Nuckles said staff had administered CPR immediately. Prosecutors claim the nurses tried to give a false impression they were seeking to save the veteran’s life.
ABC reported Nuckles is charged with depriving an elder person of essential services. Turman is charged with neglect to an elder person. Agyeman from Snellville, Georgia, is charged with felony murder and neglect to an elder person. Each of the women faces charges of concealing the death of another.
Elder abuse is a major problem across Georgia and elsewhere. If a family member has been a victim call our Newnan personal injury lawyers at (404) 913-1529.