MEDFORD - Lawmakers are calling for the closure of a Suffolk County nursing home that's been accused of neglect.
New York's attorney general says Aurelia Rios, 72, died at the Medford Multicare Center for Living after an employee failed to connect her to a ventilator. Nine employees have been arrested in connection with Rios' death and an alleged coverup.
Gladys Knowles, of East Yaphank, has a similar story. Her late husband, Bob, was rehabbing at the nursing home for a neck injury three years ago. He was paralyzed, but was expected to move back home. Knowles says her husband became disconnected from his ventilator one morning and no one paid any attention to the alarm going off. No one in the facility was criminally charged in this incident, but a civil suit was settled for an undisclosed amount.
The attorney general says the facility has had problems for years. Since 2008, 17 nurses and aides have pleaded guilty to neglect and falsifying records. The state's health departent has issued 130 violations and 5,000 accidents have occurred at the facility since 2008.
Legislator John Kennedy (R-Nesconset) says that the nursing home should be shut down. "This operator clearly has no idea how to run a health care facility," says Kennedy.