View Our Practice Areas

Nurse's aide charged with assault and battery on elderly patient

Elder abuse in nursing homes is a well-known national problem. In Massachusetts and elsewhere, that fact may make it easier in some instances to accuse an aide in a nursing home of assault and battery on a patient. On Sept. 5 a veteran nurse's aide was accused and arrested on assault and attempted murder charges at a Plymouth nursing home.

The 52-year-old certified nursing assistant has 22 years of experience. She was working at the Life Care Center in Plymouth where she and a co-worker were contending with a difficult female patient. The co-worker left the room to get linens, and returned to see the accused purportedly putting a pillow over the patient's head. However, she was only trying to shield herself from a spitting patient, according to her defense counsel.

Authorities were called and charged her with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (pillow) and assault with intent to murder. She pleaded innocent in District Court later that day. A prosecutor told the judge that the accused and a fellow nurse's aide were contending with a disruptive patient who suffered from dementia. The prosecutor said that the accused was seen by the aide who left and returned with linen, trying to cover the woman's head with a pillow. If the prosecutor had used some logic, he may have questioned why the accused would be trying to kill a patient knowing that the co-worker would be shortly returning to witness it.

The accused may have a viable defense under the criminal law of Massachusetts. What appears to be assault and battery from the perspective of someone just entering a room and seeing an event from behind, could easily also be the innocent act of using a pillow to shield spit while bending over to assist a cantankerous patient with dementia. The prosecution may also have difficulty proving motive or intent by a veteran worker who knows that a co-worker will return shortly with linen. Unless there is a history of prior events, or the accused has been seen committing other acts of elder abuse, there may just not be enough connecting logic in the prosecution's case.

Source: GateHouse Media, Inc., Randolph nurse's aide denies assaulting elderly patient, Rich Harbert Wicked, Sept.9, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

You Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Anthony M. Salerno, P.C.
306 Main St.
Worcester, MA 01608

Phone: 508-795-1200
Fax: 508-795-1333
Worcester Law Office Map

Review Us
Connect With Us