Lawyer Resources for South Carolina

Injured Victims from Riverside Health and Rehab Center Seek Financial Compensation

Nursing home regulators from the state of South Carolina and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct routine investigations and surveys in nursing homes statewide. These inspections help identify serious violations, health hazards, and deficiencies that require immediate attention.

If the nursing staff fails to make necessary changes, revise their policies and procedures, and improve the level of care provided to residents, they could lose their contract to provide care and services to state and federally-funded patients. In egregious cases, the Home might be designated a Special Focus Facility (SFF) and added to the national Medicare watch list.

Facility Blamed for Patient MurderSlowly, we are beginning to learn more information regarding the suspicious death of a 82-year-old woman at an Assisted Living Facility in South Carolina.  Initially the woman’s death was believed to be related to an accidental fall in the shower at the institution.   A closer review of the circumstances has now resulted in murder charges filed against a recently terminated employee of the facility– Oak Bridge Terrace Assisted Living Community in Rock Hill, SC.

The suspect identified at 30-year-old Braquette Walton was fired by the Assisted Living Community after it was suspected that she was connected to the theft of checks belonging to a patient at the center.  Presently, it is unknown how Ms. Walton accessed the the facility on the date of the resident’s murder.

Negligent Security?

Picture-216One of the more sobering parts of my job is when I tell someone about a nursing home negligence case that I’m working on–  only to get a response of ‘so what’ or the ever compassionate ‘that guy was going to die anyway’.  Of course, death is an inevitable part of life, but older people have just as much right to live as younger people.

For too long our culture has accepted poor nursing home care as an inevitable part of the the aging process.  Regardless of a person’s age or physical condition, they deserve the best feasible care. Cutting a person’s life short due to neglect or abuse can not be tolerated in our society.

With these quality of life thoughts in mind, I was pleased to see an article in the detailing South Carolina‘s new State Law Enforcement Divisions Vulnerable Adults Investigative Unit (SLED) to ‘investigate abuse, neglect, exploitation and deaths in government nursing homes.’

Picture-123A report from the non-profit group, Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, paints an ugly picture of the living conditions found in South Carolina assisted living facilities.  The report entitled “No Place To Call Home” was completed after a 14 month investigation into assisted-living and analysis of state documents and resident complaints.

After reading the report, most assisted living facilities bear no resemblance to any home-like environment.  The report completed by volunteers details the following findings:

  • Residents abused by facility staff, a two-by-four was used to physically abuse a resident.

The C.M. Tucker, Jr. Nursing Care Center has agreed to settle allegations of poor care levied on it by the Justice Department following an eight month investigation into the state-run facility.  The South Carolina facility houses 360 resident including 70 veterans and residents with long-term psychiatric illnesses.

The Justice Department conducted the report conducted the unannounced investigation under the powers granted it under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act.  In May, the investigative report was released to the public.  Among the conditions cited to in the 36- page report include:

  • Claims Of Injury, Illness & DeathStaff failing to identify residents with swallowing problems

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