No Parental Immunity for Father Who Failed to Rescue Son from Fatal Fire

No Parental Immunity for Father Who Failed to Rescue Son from Fatal Fire
Christopher J. Hanlon, Esq., a Personal Injury Attorney A father’s failure to remove his child from a car before it burst into flames falls outside the exercise of child-rearing philosophy which the parental-immunity doctrine is intended to protect, a state New Jersey appeals could held. The three-judge Appellate Division panel reinstated a dismissed wrongful death suit by […]

Panel Focuses on the Dangers of Elder Abuse (CA. USA)

Panel focuses on the dangers of elder abuse

By Michelle Knight

Esperanza Boggs, 89, lost everything after her son, David Boggs, 51, set fire to their Camarillo home and killed himself on June 11.

Described by his mother as armed and dangerous, David Boggs had been under investigation for alleged elder abuse, accused of holding his mother a virtual hostage for years in their home and embezzling $211,000 from her.

He set the home ablaze shortly after Ventura County deputies arrived at the mobile home to serve him with court papers to move out.

Esperanza Boggs’ story, although more extreme than most, is familiar to social workers who deal with the increasing problem of elder abuse in Ventura County.

To help protect the county’s growing senior population, a panel of experts recently addressed how the elderly can protect themselves from abuse, financial and otherwise, during a discussion at the Goebel Senior Center in Thousand Oaks.

Marcy Snider, coordinator of Ventura County Human Services Agency’s adult protective services, said her agency received 2,100 referrals of elder abuse last year.

“This year, we’ll easily surpass that,” Snider said.

Social workers with adult protective services investigate neglect or abuse and connect elderly victims to resources in the community. The statemandated program is voluntary, free of charge and available to those 65 and older.

Many referrals to the agency involve caregivers not taking proper care of their elderly charges, Snider said. But financial abuse of seniors has become the No. 1 complaint in the past four months, she said.

Snider described an elderly woman in the East County who was lonely and befriended by a salesperson over the phone. Eventually the salesperson scammed her out of $50,000. Scam artists have duped money from retired teachers, lawyers and other well-educated professionals.

Family members and friends have also taken advantage of the elderly, Snider said. Caregivers have bought groceries for the senior but also for themselves and have filled up their gasoline tank on the senior’s credit card. The elderly person may have poor eyesight and not notice the extra charges on the statement. A friend or family member may steal blank checks from the bottom of the senior’s checkbook so they won’t be missed right away.

To report elder or dependent adult abuse, call the 24-hour hotline at (805) 654-3200.

To talk to Pollara, call (805) 654-2505.


SOURCE: Camarillo Acorn – Camarillo,CA,USA

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Carer Guilty of Elderly Patients Assaults (UK)

by Tom Rowley

July 01, 2009

A SENIOR carer brushed an excrement-smeared nail brush across the mouth of a care home resident.

Linda Platt also pushed another dementia sufferer, Tameside Magistrates heard.

She left court in tears after being found guilty of two counts of common assault against two residents in their 80s at Heritage House nursing home in Stalybridge. She denied the charges.

The court was told the excrement incident happened in the early hours of 30 November after one of the elderly residents had soiled her bed.

Under cross-examination from defence solicitor Richard Birtwistle, Ms Platt, 59 – who had worked as a carer for 25 years and joined Heritage House in October 2007 – told Tameside Magistrates Court: “She was screaming in her bed. She did not like her hands being touched or let anyone near her nails. I tried to talk to her and reassure her and explain in detail that her nails were dirty and demonstrate what I was going to do.”

She denied that the nailbrush had made contact with the resident’s lips. She admitted she had called her a ‘dirty girl”’ but this was not said aggressively.

But prosecutor Kirstin Beswick said Platt’s workmate Janet Judge was stood beside her and had a clear view of the incident. Ms Platt said her colleague must have ‘misinterpreted’ her actions.

Another workmate, Hazel Tetlow, complained that one week later Platt ‘manhandled’ another resident in a corridor at the home. Platt, of Warrington Street, Stalybridge, had denied she had pushed the resident.

Chairwoman of the bench, Hilary Healey, told Platt that magistrates found the evidence against her credible and cogent.

“We believe that the brush did rub against the patient’s lips but you did not ram or shove it in.”

Mr Birtwistle said Platt was on medication for depression and anxiety. Magistrates extended unconditional bail until a probation report is ready at the court on 20 July.

Platt declined to comment after leaving the court in tears.

A spokeswoman for the home said: “The health and safety of our residents is paramount and our stringent whistle blowing policies and procedures brought these matters to light. We welcome the verdict of the court, which sends out the message that the abuse of vulnerable elderly people will not be tolerated.”

SOURCE: Tameside Advertiser, UK

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What Elder Abuse? We Do Not Have Them! (International)

By Andrew Chadwick

Yes, this appear to be the stance many politicians are taking. “Don’t you know there is an global financial crisis?”

It is as though a financial crisis just completely “wiped out” child abuse, elder abuse, and other social abhorrences.

My question is simply- Why the various countries have allowed the crisis to occur in the first place?

I may be naïve, but I believe that governments have allowed the “fat cats” to plunge our economies to the present depth of sorrows. There must be lessons learnt, and it is now up to the various governments to do more than bankroll the guilty parties.

Coming back to funding cuts to various social services, especially those that will affect the welfare of the most vulnerable in our society; children and elderly.

As this blog is about Elder Abuse, I will just comment on this issue. The plight of many elderly who had been abused is real. Their pains and trauma do not disappear according to the health of the economy.

We must not allow ourselves to be de-sensitized to the plight of the frail and needy in good times or bad.

One email from a visitor to this site, brought tears to my eyes. In that email, this man outlined how he was systematically conned out of his retirement fund, by none other than his own son. The last line of his email states:

“ I am nearing 78 years, now without any retirement funds……..I have all but lost hope.”

Let us continue to be human. Let us NOT de-humanized the frail and the needy, by forgetting them and deprive them of help and services; even in times of economic downturn.

We now read, on a daily basis, about budget cuts to a range of services. This is happening all over the world.

My Plea:

Let us speak up for the frail and vulnerable in our society. We may be the ones who would need those vital social services in the near future.


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Helpline for Adults at Risk of Abuse (UK)

2nd July 2009

A HOTLINE to help adults at risk of abuse has been launched.

AskSal, a partnership between Thurrock, Southend and Basildon Safeguarding Adults Boards and national organisations Action on Elder Abuse and Voice UK, is a hotline for people to call if they are suffering abuse themselves or suspect an adult they know is at risk.

The helpline, which is the first of its kind in the UK, is the adult equivalent of Childline.

Gary Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Action on Elder Abuse, said: “Many people do not report the abuse they suffer due to fear, shame and embarrassment. We hope that this unique partnership will cut through some of these barriers and enable people to access the support they desperately need.”

People calling the helpline will speak to skilled operators who can refer them to another agency if required, without the caller having to re-dial or re-tell their story.

The AskSal hotline number is 0808 80 10 345.

SOURCE: Thurrock Gazette – Thurrock,UK

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Carer Admits Pensioner Sex Attack (UK)

A male carer at an Edinburgh nursing home carried out a serious sex assault on an infirm 76-year-old woman as she held on to her walking frame.

The distressed victim later told another employee that Joseph Sinja had “done things her husband wouldn’t do”.

Sinja, 32, admitted carrying out the attack on 26 April this year, when he appeared at the High Court in the city.

He is due to be sentenced later but THE Kenyan national was warned he could be deported.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC told the court: “The victim describes feeling dirty and sick as a result of the incident and that the accused had done something to her that her husband had never done.

“Her age makes the offence particularly distressing and embarrassing to her and any mention of it causes extreme upset,” he said.

The prosecutor told the court that the woman, who has suffered strokes, irregular heart rhythm and reduced mobility, remains at the home run by Edinburgh City Council, but is now treated by female carers only.

Sinja, who was allowed into Britain on a student visa, was employed as an assistant at the home through Family Circle Care Ltd, which provided the agency staff.




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Elderly in Costa Rica Seen As Family’s “Petty Cash” (Costa Rica)

Elderly In Costa Rica Seen As Family’s “Petty Cash”

Contrary to popular belief, in Costa Rica the children don’t always maintain their parents when they reach retirement age. A new study shows that some 100.000 Costa Rican families live off the savings and pensions of their elderly family members.

The study “Primer Informe sobre la Persona Adulta Mayor” by the Centro Centroamericano de Población (CCP) of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), shows that a third of the elderly in Costa Rica maintain up to 35% of the expenditures of their children, that includes paying for university tuition for their grandchildren and utility bills for the family.

The study took into account the responses of 2.000 senior citizens and numbers from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC).

The report reveals that is the case of the 100.000 Costa Ricans over the age of 65, a population that concerned itself with savings and now are earning interest, in addition have a pension and many continue to work.

Luis Rosero, director of the CCP and study coordinator, says this group has up to three sources of income and are easily converted into the “petty cash” of the family.

Rosero said that families with university age children finding it difficult to meet their financial burden often turn to older family members for assistance, and as such the senior assumes part of the family’s economic burden.

Although in many cases the elderly make their financial contribution voluntarily, for Zulema Villalta, legal advisor to the Comisión Nacional de la Persona Adulta Mayor, the report indicates that there could be cases of abuse of the elderly.

Villalta says that in many times children abuse the situation.

SOURCE: Inside Costa Rica – San Jose,Costa Rica

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Employers and Job References; the Dilemma
There’s Hope in Immunity Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., Business Litigation Attorney Whether an employer-employee relationship ends on good terms or with acrimony, a common final act – the employee’s request for a reference for a new job – is increasingly leading to litigation. From the former employer’s standpoint, it can be a case of damned if you do and damned […]

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