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Post date: June 3 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Nursing Home Aide For Causing Injury To A 74 Year Old Resident

Fiona Jennings Failed To Properly Follow Safety Procedures; Subsequently Attempted To Cover-Up Her Actions

CLIFTON PARK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of Fiona Jennings, a Certified Nurse Assistant on charges that she endangered the welfare of a nursing home resident at Seton Health at Schuyler Ridge. Jennings allegedly failed to provide appropriate care to a 74 year old woman, resulting in a fall, which Jennings failed to report.  The resident sustained significant injuries to her face as a result.

“New Yorkers in nursing homes expect their caregivers will be responsible and that they will take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to take action against those who fail to provide proper care to elderly residents in need of assistance.”

On February 20, 2015, Jennings was responsible for providing care to a nursing home resident who was unable to care for herself due to a recent knee fracture.  Jennings used a mechanical lift to transfer the resident into her bed, but failed to follow facility policy by transferring the resident without the assistance of another person.  The resident fell from her bed onto the floor, striking her face.  The investigation revealed that Jennings failed to report the resident’s fall to a supervisor as required, and attempted to cover up her actions by asking another staff member to falsely state that she helped in the transfer of the resident.  It was later discovered that the resident sustained significant bruising and swelling to her forehead and two black eyes. 

Jennings, of Albany, was arraigned on charges of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Wilful Violation of Health Laws, a misdemeanor, before Honorable James Hughes in Clifton Park Town Court.  The defendant was released on her own recognizance and will appear in court again on June 24.

The charges against the defendant are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The investigation was conducted by Investigator John Benshoff of Albany’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Dianne Tuffey.  Special Assistant Attorney General Erin Lynch of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Albany Regional Office is prosecuting the case with Regional MFCU Director Kathleen Boland.  Catherine Wagner is MFCU's Upstate Chief of Criminal Investigations.  Amy Held is the Acting Director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Kelly Donovan is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.