Two additional employees of the Medford Multicare Center for Living, Inc. have been arrested as part of an ongoing criminal negligence case related to the 2012 death of a resident. A total of 11 people have been arrested in connection to the case so far.
Marianne Fassino, 53, of Shirley, and Leona Gordon, 35, of Medford, were arrested Thursday in connection with the death a 72-year-old resident of the center who was supposed to be receiving temporary rehabilitation at the facility, according to the Patchogue Patch.
According to a press release issued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that was obtained by the Patchogue Patch, Aurelia Rios died when center staff failed to connect her to a ventilator machine, despite explicit orders from a doctor to do so. Fassino allegedly failed to respond to visual and audio alarms for almost two hours despite being inches away from monitors. Rios suffocated waiting for someone to respond to the alarms. The registered nurse is facing felony charges, the Patchogue Patch reported.
Gordon was an aide in charge of watching the unit’s alarm monitor in the nursing station to ensure staff responded to them in a timely manner, according to the Patchogue Patch.
“The negligence alleged in this case is criminal and will not be tolerated in New York nursing homes,” Schneiderman said in the release. “Today’s indictment sends a clear message: We will arrest those who put our most vulnerable citizens in harm’s way, and in particular those who neglect or deny life-saving medical treatment to patients. We must and will do everything in our power to protect our nursing home residents from abuse.”
In April, nine other individuals were arrested in connection with Rios’ death. Kethlie Joseph, 61, of Brentwood is charged with criminally negligent homicide. Joseph is accused of failing to read doctors’ orders to keep Rios on a ventilator overnight, and of failing to respond to visual and audio alarms alerting staff that there was a problem, according to 7online.com.
Kimberly Lappe, 31, of Medford, is accused of not responding to visual and audio alarms, despite being mere inches away. Lappe allegedly falsified records stating that nurses responded to those alarms, 7online.com reported.
Christina Corelli, 37, of East Patchogue, is also accused of not responding to visual and audio alarms and allegedly stated that the alarms were not beeping and that Rios was breathing normally. Officials say that records prove the alarm system was activated the entire time Corelli was in the room with the patient, according to 7online.com.
Patricia Giovanni, 62, of Port Jefferson, allegedly failed to respond to the alarms, even though she was assigned to sit at Rios’ bedside, 7online.com reported.
Administrators David Fielding and Christine Boylan were arrested and charged with concealing records documenting the alarm system going off, according to 7online.com.
Authorities say Rios’ case was brought to their attention by a whistleblower. Fielding allegedly conspired with others to cover up the center’s negligence and never reported the death to authorities, 7online.com reported.