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Nursing Home Abuse

Bernadette Stackpole, a certified nursing assistant working for Kindred Health Care at their Franklin Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Franklin, MA. was arraigned Dec 20, 2004 in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, MA. on charges of assaulting and sexually abusing Alzheimer's patients in Franklin, including a victim represented by Hamill Law Offices, an 86 yr old decorated World War II veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. Amoung the charges is a criminal count that she violated State Laws 265 section 38 and MGL c 265 s.13K which prohibit senior citizen abuse in nursing homes.

Stackpole, a Bellingham resident, listened at her arraignment as the prosecutor described allegations of how she sexually, physically and emotionally abused and beat four patients at the Franklin Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (see their Nursing Home quality scores drop from 2002 to 2004). Two of the victims, who range in age from 75 to 105, have since died. The Department of Public Health has suspended Stackpole's right to work in residential facilities, and she was fired in May by the Franklin center after an internal investigation. Kindred Healthcare Community owns the Franklin facility. Stackpole was held on $500 cash bail until an April 7 hearing.

According to the District Attorney, during several attacks witnessed by a fellow employee, Stackpole is accused of bending the legs of a 105-year-old woman so far back over her head that she cried out, ``I'm going to die. I'm going to die''. The 53-year-old native of the Philippines is also accused of hitting a 78-year-old man on the head with the bristle side of a brush so hard he started to bleed.

Investigators are looking into why the allegedly long-running abuse was not noticed or reported earlier and whether changes need to be made to protect patients at the facility.

The Franklin cases are just a few among the rising tide of elder abuse in Massachusetts, as chronicled recently in a Herald series. Legislation awaiting approval would turn elder abuse charges into a felony with a three-year sentence.

Our office represents three of the victims of this horrible abuse by Bernadette Stackpole. Our office has filed three lawsuits on their behalf.

In February, in Norfolk Superior Court, Stackpole pled guilty to several counts of Assault and Battery as well as Abuse of Elders.

If you feel that you or your loved one has been injured as a result of nursing home abuse please call 1-617-479-4300 or use our free case evaluation form.

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