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Post date: June 2 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment And Arraignment Of Two Nurses For Allegedly Neglecting A Severely Disabled Resident

Video Surveillance Shows Two Nurses Allegedly Ignoring A Disabled Resident Who Bled From A Head Wound For Over Twenty Minutes While On The Floor

Schneiderman: My Office Will Vigorously Prosecute Health Care Professionals Who Callously Fail To Treat Or Endanger Injured Patients Under Their Care

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment and arraignment of two nurses, Funmilola Taiwo, 34, of Far Rockaway and Esohe Agbonkpolor, 39, of Arverne, for allegedly neglecting a disabled resident for over twenty minutes while that resident bled from a wound to his head.  Facility-maintained cameras captured surveillance of the two nurses actively avoiding the resident as he lay writhing on the floor.  A Grand Jury sitting in Queens County indicted both nurses 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.  The Grand Jury also indicted defendant Taiwo for Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, in connection with an alleged attempt to conceal her other crimes.

“The complete and utter lack of care allegedly displayed by these two nurses is shocking,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  “When New Yorkers make the difficult decision to place their loved ones in a nursing home, they shouldn’t have to worry about abuse and neglect. My Office will vigorously prosecute health care professionals who callously fail to treat or endanger injured patients under their care.”

On October 23, 2014, defendants Funmilola Taiwo and Esohe Agbonkpolor were both working as nurses at Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  That evening, just after 11:00 pm, a 51-year-old resident, who suffered from multiple debilitating conditions including altered mental status, fell in front of defendant Agbonkpolor while in a hallway at Peninsula.  Rather than render care, it is alleged Agbonkpolar simply walked away from the resident.  After the resident crawled on his back for more than twelve minutes along the floor, a Certified Nurse Aide dragged the resident back to his room.  (That Certified Nurse Aide has already pled guilty to neglect and is awaiting sentencing).

Approximately twenty-five minutes later the resident emerged from his room. At this point, wearing only a backless gown pulled up over his unclad waist, the resident crawled along the floor while bleeding from a wound to the back of his head and another to his jaw.  For the next twenty minutes, until Emergency Medical Services arrived, it is alleged that Taiwo and Agbonkpolor, largely ignored the resident and never appropriately treated the resident’s wounds. 

Earlier today, Justice Barry Kron, of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Queens County, arraigned both defendants on the Indictment.  The judge adjourned the cases for conference on September 8, 2016 in Supreme Court, Queens County. 

Both defendants are no longer employed at Peninsula. The Attorney General thanks the management at Peninsula for bringing this incident to the attention of law enforcement and for their continued cooperation and assistance during the investigation and prosecution.

An indictment is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.     

The case was investigated by Special Investigator Joseph Oliver and other investigators of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”) with the assistance of Supervising Special Investigator Victor Maldonado and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan.  

Special Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan S. Reiner and Adam Shlahet of the MFCU are prosecuting the case with the assistance of MFCU New York City Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate.  Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney lead MFCU.  The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

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