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April 13, 2012

Lawyer Downplays Calif. Elder Abuse Case (CA. USA)


April 11, 2012
PLACERVILLE, Calif.,
April 11 (UPI)

 Lawyers for two California nursing home employees said they thought the state's elder-abuse case against them was flimsy.
Defense attorney Patrick Hanly told reporters outside the El Dorado County Superior Court that state investigators had found little evidence in their probe of the 2008 death of a patient at the Placerville facility where they worked as nurses.
"Over four years, they [attorney general's investigators] did exactly nothing," said Hanly, who added the state investigation produced "no new evidence."
Donna Palmer, 58, and Rebecca LeAn Smith, 38, appeared in court on charges their action contributed to the death of Johnnie Esco, a 77-year-old patient whose health deteriorated after she checked into the El Doardo Care Center.
The defense said the Esco's death did not result in any charges when it was initially investigated. The state took another look at it after a civil suit was filed and the Sacramento Bee ran a series of investigative reports on the falsification of nursing home records, which focused on Esco's case.
The Bee said the judge in the case refused to revoke Palmer's nursing license. Smith, who moved to Louisiana after Esco's death, has agreed not to practice nursing and was freed on her own recognizance pending further proceedings.

SOURCE:    UPI
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