Medford - (WALK) The investigation continues into the death of a 72-year-old patient at a Medford nursing home. Her death the result of cost cutting, abuse and neglect caused by owners who "looted" the facility, according to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Nine employees of Medford Multicare Center for Living were arrested Tuesday for allegedly allowing or covering up the death of Auriela Rios, 72, in October of 2012. They are also accused of neglecting two other patients. The suspects are reportedly on paid administrative leave while the case proceeds.
Rios was coping with complications from pneumonia and was supposed to be on a ventilator at night, and a certified nurse's assistant was to be available to her at all times. Rios was not connected to the venilator on the night she died. When an alarm sounded every 15 seconds for two hours in three locations within the facility, no one responded, according to prosecutors.
"The defendants neglect led to "serious injury and made "impossible the delivery of required services that Medicaid paid for," according to a 57-page suit filed by the attorney general's office.
Schneiderman accused the facility owners of failing to pay for upkeep and instead "looting" nearly $60 million for their personal use since the facility opened in 2003.
Millions of dollars in public funds meant for residents' health care were diverted to "enrich the defendants through exorbitant salaries, bogus fees through a shell company and self-serving charitable contributions," according to the suit.
The 320-bed facility on Horseblock Road in Medford remains open, as the state Department of Health must find another place for its residents to live or appoint a receiver.