Raleigh, NC, Nursing Home Fined $210,000 After Abuse Allegations

Posted on Jul 28, 2009
According to ABC News Channel 13 in Raleigh and the News & Observer, a North Carolina nursing home has been fined over $200,000 by NC regulators. An investigation that took place after one patient sustained a bruise on her face revealed that the nursing home was violating a number of regulations pertaining to nursing home safety.

Raleigh resident Doris Weaver filed a complaint to the Department of Health and Human Services concerning her 88-year-old mother, whose face had been bruised under suspicious circumstance at the Sunnybrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation nursing home. Although investigators never confirmed that the facial contusion was caused by North Carolina nursing home abuse, they did confirm that the reason for the bruise was never identified and reported by the staff as it should have been. All in all, the investigators found violations in six different areas of operation.

Another woman allegedly slipped and fell twice, once in her own urine.

Weaver's mother, Della Jarrett, and the other adult care facility residents were at risk of harm, according to the federal healthcare officials who wrote the fine. Although they could not confirm that the bruise was caused by abuse, they also said that they could not rule out abuse as one of the causes of the injury.

Sunnybrook released a written response to the fine and other allegations, stating that nursing home abuse allegations were never confirmed, but also that they would work to improve their operation: "The facility has been working with the state to address the issues identified in its survey. The state has accepted the facility's plan of correction and we anticipate the state will find us in compliance upon their re-survey."

Sunnybrook received a three star, or average, rating on the federal government's five-star rating system for nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will continue to monitor the nursing home for abuse and other regulation violations.

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