Schneiderman said that the nursing home was constantly neglectful of its residents, and made “impossible the delivery of required services that Medicaid paid for.” The neglect caused the death of one resident, the suit says, a 72-year old woman named Aurelia Rios. One night in October 2012, Rios’ pulse oximeter alarm went off every 15 seconds for two hours because, contrary to her doctor’s orders, she was not attached to her ventilator machine. That same night, she died. The suit says “No one responded despite the fact that alarms were sounding at three locations on the unit and one staff member was specifically tasked with watching the monitor,”
Rios’ daughter, 52 year-old Michelle Giamarino, expressed outrage at her mother’s death. She told Newsday that her mother had a breathing disease, but had been getting better after having pneumonia. She needed to be weened off the ventilator and also required monitoring at night for her sleep apnea. “I cried a lot, but now, I’m angry,” Giamarino said. “How could you be that negligent? That’s a life. That’s a life that mattered.”
Since it opened in 2003, the 320-bed nursing home has been given over $280 million from the state to care for its residents. According to the lawsuit, however, the owners (Mordechai Klein, Norman Rausman, Martin Rausman, Michael Rausman, Henry Rausman and Mendel Aschkenazi) withdrew over “$60 million in profit sharing, employee loans, unearned exorbitant salaries and purported charitable contributions to their own family-run private foundations.”
Nine people have been arrested and criminally charged, the attorney general’s office said. Fielding, who is being charged with misdemeanor physical abuse, falsifying business records, tampering with physical evidence and obstructing government administration, was one of them. Others that were arrested were Kethlie Joseph, 61, of Brentwood; Kimberly Lappe, 31, of Medford; Victoria Caldwell, 50, of Medford; Christina Corelli, 37, of East Patchogue; Patricia Giovanni, 62, of Port Jefferson; Christine Boylan, 49, of Mastic; Yolanda Monsalvo, 47, of Nesconset; and Catherine Reyes, 49, of Ridge. Online court records show that several of these people are accused of tampering with patient records and also broke the law with regards to treatment, Newsday reports. Charges include physical abuse, willful violation of health laws, obstruction of governmental administration and evidence tampering. Records also show that Joseph has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.