Six nurses and a contracted certified nurse practitioner have all been indicted on 34 charges, including involuntary manslaughter. Allegedly, the employees knowingly neglected two patients in which one of them subsequently died.
According to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the investigation of Whetstone Gardens and Care Center discovered that one patient died as a direct result of neglect and the second experienced physical harm as a result of inadequate care.
“This case goes to the heart of protecting the unprotected,” Attorney General Yost said. “These victims were completely dependent on others for day-to-day care, which their families trusted Whetstone Gardens to provide. Instead of providing that care, evidence shows these nurses forced the victims to endure awful mistreatment and then lied about it. This is gut-wrenching for anyone who has entrusted a care facility with the well-being and safety of a loved one.”
Dating as far back as February 2017, the first patient suffered serious wounds on his body which developed gangrenous and necrotic tissue. Nurses failed to take the medically appropriate steps that could have saved his life. He regretfully died on March 5, 2017, from septic shock, a result of his wounds, officials said.
On Wednesday, a Franklin County grand jury indicted three of the nurses, Sandra Blazer, Jessica Caldwell and Kimberly Potter, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and gross patient neglect, due to the failure to get the patient timely medical treatment. The indictments state that nursing staff repeatedly documented treatments that were never provided. It was also determined that certain medical records for one of the victims contained false information and forged signatures of nursing staff. The patient’s medical file listed care occurring at times when she was not physically present at the facility.
Five employees, including Blazer, were indicted on charges of forgery and gross patient neglect. All individuals were indicted in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
A spokesperson from Whetstone Gardens and Care Center, Ryan Stubenrauch, says the facility has taken appropriate steps to remedy the issue. He stated all employees involved were fired immediately.