Nursing Home Closes over Verbal Abuse Claims

Most of us are taught to treat our elders with respect and dignity. When the time comes to place our older loved ones in a care facility, we hope that their caretakers will treat them with respect and dignity. Sadly, this is not always the case.

A nursing home located in Barre, Vermont was closed amid accusations of verbal abuse towards patients. The closing forced authorities to find emergency temporary housing for sixteen elderly and disabled patients.

On April 1st, a majority of the staff members of Cota’s Hospitality Home quit their jobs. The facility was left so understaffed that it was unable to continue operating past that date.

Cota’s Hospitality Home had been operating since 2001. At the time of the incident, the facility was under temporary court-appointed management. This is when six of the eight staff members decided to leave their jobs.

The former Assistant Manager at Cota’s attributed the staff quitting to the fact that they were mistreated under the newly appointed management.

Since 2006, the facility has been found to have had 30 occasions where they were in violation of regulations. These violations included complaints of inaccurate dosing of medication, lack of training on administering insulin, and failure to maintain and track progress notes.

Court documents indicate that things came to a boil when two residents accused the owner of the facility, Michael Cota, of verbally abusing them.

One resident accused Cota of threatening him over money that was owed. The resident says that Cota allegedly told him, “I’ll bury you in the backyard and no one will find your body.”

Another resident stated in court documents that Cota would treat him like a child and say, “Do as I say or go to your room.”

An investigator with Adult Protective Services substantiated the accusations in both cases.

In early March, the person acting as both the facility manager and the licensed nurse left her position. This put the home out of compliance. The state asked a judge to appoint a temporary receiver to manage the home on a short term basis to get it back into compliance.

Once the temporary manager came in, staff began handing in resignations. Most staff cited treatment under the new management as their reason for resigning.

If you believe that yourself or a loved one has been neglected or abused while in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith today. Our attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.