Two nurses aides at the Tarrytown Hall Care Center on Wood Court were arrested Wednesday for allegedly causing the death of an elderly resident by “failing to provide care and covering up the crime,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
An 86-year-old resident of the center who suffered from ailments that made her unable to walk, required a mechanical lift and two people to move from bed to wheelchair. On February 15, 2012, Maureen Flowers, 53, of the Bronx, and Donna Pagan, 35, of Peekskill, were reportedly assigned to her care.
Despite, according to the Attorney General's report, Flowers’ extensive training in the mechanical lift operation and knowledge of its two-person requirement, she allegedly attempted to use the lift by herself and cover this up when things went horribly wrong.
The elderly woman fell to the floor during the transfer, causing fractures to her spine and right leg, a broken nose and bruising to her face.
“Instead of seeking immediate help, Flowers left her patient bleeding on the floor while she sought out Donna Pagan…and asked her colleague to lie and say she had assisted her as she attempted the transfer,” the report states.
The elderly and injured woman died two hours later at Westchester Medical Center and investigation revealed that Flowers allegedly sought help for her patient only after Pagan agreed to cover up what had happened. Interviews and written statements submitted to their supervisors at the center attested that both women had been there for the lift transfer.
“This is a sad and disturbing case of a nurse’s aide who, by ignoring both the rules of the home where she worked and her training, caused the death of one of our most vulnerable citizens,” Schneiderman said. “While most nursing home employees work tirelessly to ensure a safe environment for those in need, my office will aggressively pursue those who place seniors in harm’s way and then enlist others to cover up their crimes.”
Flowers has been charged with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree, a class D felony, which could get her up to seven years in state prison if convicted.
Pagan has been charged with falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony, with a possible four years in jail if convicted.
The women are to be arraigned in Tarrytown Justice Court.