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 M.G.L.ch.
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
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
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.