Is there a link between nursing home abuse cases and electronic surveillance use in Chicagoland? According to a recent report from NBC 5 Chicago, a nurse aide pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery after a surveillance camera captured images of her perpetrating acts of elder abuse upon a nursing home resident. Initially, the nurse aide argued that the surveillance camera violated a recently enacted Illinois law known as the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act (210 ILCS 32/). However, the nurse aide ultimately took a plea after initially being charged with felony abuse of a long-term healthcare facility resident and felony aggravated battery to a person older than 60.
What else should you know about the recent case and the power of the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act?
The recent case concerning the nurse aide arose after the family of Francesco Chiurato discovered that this resident of Pleasant View Luther, a senior living facility, was enduring nursing home abuse and neglect. The senior’s son, John Chiurato, “set up a hidden, motion-detection camera in his father’s room when he began complaining about an employee last June,” according to the report. When John reviewed the surveillance footage, he saw “constant neglect or physical battery.” Francesco Chiurato died last fall at the age of 88, but his son has remained involved in the case.
According to John Chiurato, the nurse aide “would make him clean himself up after accidents.” He even observed, on the surveillance footage, “one situation where she ran up to him and put her middle finger in his face,” and another in which “you could see her cleaning his genital area and then forcing the same rag into his face.” According to the police report, there were additional incidents that resulted in the charges against the nurse aide. Specifically, the police report described an incident in which “Francesco fell back into the bed from a standing position, and his head went back and over the other side of the bed,” but the nurse aide did not help him. In another incident, according to the police report, the nurse aide’s “right arm jabs in a punching motion toward Franceso,” and “[h]e is heard moaning immediately after the movement.”
The Act went into effect last year and authorizes residents of long-term care facilities to install surveillance cameras as long as certain notice has been given and consent has been obtained. Specifically, the Act permits “authorized electronic monitoring,” which it defines as “the placement and use of an electronic monitoring device by a resident in his or her room.” The act was in effect at the time Chiurato placed the camera. However, the nurse aide argued that not all requirements of the law had been met. What does the law require?
Given that the nurse aide in this case took a plea deal, the court did not have to make determinations about whether the surveillance footage was recorded within the bounds of the Act. However, if you have questions about installing a surveillance camera in your elderly loved one’s long-term care facility room, or if you need more information about filing a claim, an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse injury attorney can assist you. Contact Arami Law Office today.
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