GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — A disturbing video shows an elderly woman being taunted by nursing home workers in Glenview.
The video ended up on Snapchat.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Thursday night, a lawsuit filed this week now accuses the Abington of Glenview nursing home of abuse.
Margaret Collins is 91, suffers from dementia, and does not like hospital gowns. The staff at her nursing home knew that – and allegedly used it as fuel to taunt and terrorize her.
The Snapchat video from the December 2018 incident ultimately ends with certified nursing assistants Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa arrested on misdemeanor charges.
“That was their disturbing form of entertainment?” said Collins’ daughter, Joan Biebel.
In the video, Cortez allegedly waves a hospital gown at Collins as Montesa, his girlfriend and coworker, filmed. The caption reads, “Margaret hates gowns,” with two laughing emojis.
“Tt was so disturbing to see,” Biebel said.
Cortez told police it was an “ongoing inside joke.”
Biebel said Cortez was waving the gown at her mother while she waved her hands in fear.
“She’s like a little bird. She’s a little person. She’s, you know, very frail – like, what are you doing?” Biebel said.
Collins told investigators she feared Cortez “may force her to put it on.”
“I knew immediately that we had to go to the police department. This was completely wrong,” Biebel said. “My mother had an expectation of privacy.”
“That’s exactly what this is. It’s abuse,” said attorney Margaret Battersby Black of the firm Levin & Perconti. “They knew that she didn’t like this and they persisted in doing it.”
Battersby Black filed a lawsuit this week on behalf of Collins.
“Not only did she not get the care she needed, but she got bullied and taunted instead,” she said.
The lawsuit accused the Abington of violating the Nursing Home Care Act, HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), and state privacy laws.
The Illinois Department of Public Health determined the Abington failed to implement its “abuse prevention policy,” resulting in Collins feeling “degradation and shame.”
“They had two staff members who were in her room for the sole purpose of playing a sick game, really,” Battersby Black said.
The Abington said in a statement in part, “Recently, two employees were immediately terminated when it was determined that they violated our standards and polices.”
When asked if she felt the Abington failed her and her family, Biebel said, “Absolutely.”
The two former nursing assistants will be in court later this month. Collins has since been moved to another facility.