New Jersey has enacted a new law requiring workers at nursing homes to immediately report cases of elder abuse and neglect to police.
Governor Chris Christie recently signed “Peggy’s Law” after a nearly seven-year battle for the legislation by New Jersey resident Maureen Persi. Persi’s mother, 93-year-old Peggy Marzolla, died from nursing home injuries in 2010.
A local hospital treated her for numerous injuries, including a broken wrist, a broken cheekbone, a broken jaw and a broken eye socket. She also suffered bruises, cuts and welts.
The staff at the nursing home said that Marzolla, an Alzheimer’s patient, had sustained the injuries in a fall. That explanation didn’t satisfy Marzolla’s daughter. She said that hospital workers also doubted that such severe injuries could have happened in such a way. Persi said she felt that management was sweeping the incident under the rug.
Elder Abuse Legislation
State authorities refused to act on the case. The Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, which is supposed to investigate nursing home abuse and neglect, accepted management’s story. Moreover, Persi could not get any law enforcement agencies to look into the matter either.
So she began to lobby state lawmakers for legislation that would hold nursing home facilities more accountable. Seven years later, the result is S-1219. In short, workers must notify police within two hours of a resident’s injury. Additionally, facilities must report a crime against a resident within 24 hours. The government could facilities $5,000 — and individual workers $500 — for failure to report a crime or injury.
If you suspect abuse or neglect of an elderly person in a Florida nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse attorney. Martinez Manglardi’s nursing home abuse attorneys are dedicated to protecting nursing home residents who are unable to protect themselves. Call us at 407-846-2240 with questions about nursing home abuse and negligence in Orlando, Orange County, Kissimmee, and Osceola County. We also have offices in Apopka, Polk County, Seminole County, Palm Bay, Brevard County, Ocala and throughout Florida.