There are a number of scams floating around that attempt to lie or mislead senior citizens into handing money over for dubious reasons. Sometimes, people who have physical access to the living spaces of elderly people can be just as dangerous, as they will try to steal things like cash or valuables. Many of these perpetrators believe that the elderly may not notice the missing items or have the means to report theft due to their physical and mental conditions. This is especially true in the case of valuables such as jewelry that may spend most of their time locked away and out of sight.
One of the more common forms of abuse of the elderly is when nursing home employees or others who have access to the facility try to take advantage of those who are staying there through various forms of stealing.
Housekeeper at nursing home was stealing from residents
An incident in the Garden State involved a housekeeper who was criminally charged for stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from an assisted living facility. A 48 year old female who worked as a housekeeper at the Haven at Silverwoods facility stole from at least three different victims over the course of just under a year. She was criminally charged for the thefts and fired from her position after the misconduct was discovered and reported.
A local police detective stated that there were multiple items found along with a number of different victims, which went beyond their initial suspicions. He also believes that may still be more undiscovered items or additional victims that have not come forward yet. The police urged people at the facility to begin using the lock boxes regularly.
There seems to be some dispute as to whether all of the victims were connected to the nursing home or if the woman had been stealing jewelry from other sources or elderly people to be pawned off for cash. The owner of the facility told the media that he is fully cooperating with the police investigation, but he believes that only one victim in his home was stolen from.
Civil lawsuits for theft
Regardless of the results of any related criminal cases, the suspect can still be sued in a civil lawsuit to recover damages and the stolen property. Financial exploitation of the elderly is a crime, but it can also be the basis for a civil lawsuit under tort law principles that list the value of the items or cash that was stolen.
There are specific areas of tort law that deal with compensating victims for conversion and theft of property. A lawyer who specializes in assisting the elderly will provide specific details about how to proceed in these cases, but it is usually best to know exactly what items were stolen and their total value, as the attorney will have to formally ask for this amount during the lawsuit. As always, providing details such as who took the items, where and when they were stolen, possible witnesses, and related police reports and investigations can help your attorney make a strong case on your behalf. If the suspect has already been identified and convicted in a criminal case, these evidence will be very helpful.
File a lawsuit related to nursing home abuse or theft now
A lawyer who specializes in helping elderly people who have been exploited while staying in any kind of assisted care facility can file a lawsuit if necessary. Stuart M. Nachbar Esq. has been helping clients in New Jersey with all kinds of legal issues for more than 20 years.