Caregivers employed at an assisted-living facility in Georgia are held to a higher standard of duty, and any allegations of abuse, injury or death of a resident may result in severe penalties. A Powder Springs man employed as a nightshift caregiver at an East Cobb facility was charged with felony murder, elder abuse and elder neglect over the death of a 91-year-old resident in his care. The Cobb County jury, however, failed to convict the facility employee of the felony murder and elder abuse charges, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Prosecutors were unsuccessful in convincing the jury that the caregiver fatally beat the former World War II veteran during an August 2017 overnight shift. The employee testified that he caught the resident while he was falling from his bed, but he failed to respond to the patient’s complaints of being in pain. The resident then left frantic voicemail messages on his daughter’s phone asking her to rush to the facility as he believed he was dying. The patient was transported to a hospital the following morning where doctors found he had a damaged kidney, broken ribs and a lung that was punctured. The jury was deadlocked in determining beyond a reasonable doubt that the nightshift worker intentionally murdered the man placed in his care.
In some cases, a victim of elder abuse or wrongful death may have had a history of issues stemming from the care and treatment given by another caregiver or nursing home. Without proper communication and assistance in resolving problems quickly when they occur, matters may escalate into serious injuries. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia has some of the worst nursing homes in the nation. Reportedly, the Peach State’s investigators are slow to respond to elder abuse and incident reports, which may help to contribute to a resident’s untimely death.