A video recording made at the Abington of Glenview nursing home has sparked legal recourse from the family of a humiliated resident. The resident harassment video shows a 91-year-old resident, Margaret Collins, being taunted and humiliated by two nursing assistants and was posted to the social media platform Snapchat December 21, 2018.
In the resident harassment video, Margaret is shown flailing her arms as the two nursing assistants repeatedly put a nursing gown on top of her body. The video is captioned with the phrase “Margaret hates gowns!” along with two teared laughter emojis. Margaret has dementia and therefore was not fully aware of the situation but her family was livid.
Eventually, the Glenview Police Department filed charges against Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa citing disorderly conduct at the misdemeanor level. The Collins family has also filed civil charges against the former employees and the nursing home. When asked for comment by WTKR Channel 3, the Collins family stated that it was a known fact among the nursing home staff that Margaret liked to wear her own clothes rather than a gown. In fact, in the resident harassment video, Margaret is already wearing her own clothes while a gown is thrown at her.
Tom Collins, Margaret’s son declared in a statement responding to the resident harassment video that “She’s waving her arms because of one reason . . . She doesn’t have mobility to get away. That’s the only option she has to protect herself.”
Joan Biebel, Margaret’s daughter offered additional commentary about the unprofessional and humiliating nature of the video, saying “If they’re in her room, they should’ve been there for a reason to help her, assist her, not to exploit her and threaten her and demean her and post it on social media.”
The lawsuit in response to the resident harassment video seeks over $1 million in damages and Attorney John Perconti told WTKR that he believed that the case would be quite decisive. In a statement, Perconti said “Margaret’s privacy was clearly violated . . . They had no right to have cell phones in there.”
The Collins family also told reporters that the nursing assistants remained on the job for weeks after initially being cleared by administrators. Abington of Glenview released an official statement that the privacy and dignity of residents were of the utmost concern and the employees were fired “when it was determined that they violated our standards and policies.”
For more information about psychological abuse and its effects on nursing home residents, visit the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys’ Psychological Abuse Page.