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Chief White Owl: Injustice Florida Punitive Damages on Wrongful Death for Victims Families
All you people claiming to advocate for the elderly and disabled, just who do you think you are to challenge judicial decisions, facilities, attorneys, conservators, guardians and fiduciaries? They are, after all, proven, by their positions, to be above reproach. How dare you challenge their intent, actions and/or character!
Judges, attorneys, CEO’s and others in charge have proven by the stations they have risen to, to be of perfection… the elite of the world… the all-knowing… and the all honest. Never do they take advantage of their positions for personal financial gain nor to have a personal agenda in play. Never do they do anything beneath their position. To suggest otherwise is to be singled out to be disgraced and to possibly be labelled a threat or even mentally unbalanced.
I’m not sure what has happened to common sense and healthy thought process, but some kind of virus has been on the attack, it would seem. Facts seem to be subjective or totally irrelevant. It’s almost as though we are living in the “mad house” out here in the everyday world. Too many things, arguments and decisions are outright crazy.
We have various Courts that worry about individuals taking advantage of the elderly or disabled, while signing off on outrageous fees for attorneys, appointed guardians and so forth. What is the difference between the latter and the former? Oh, is it because the latter is condoned by the courts and protected by some carelessly written law or skillful misinterpretation? That somehow makes one right and the other wrong?
Worse than the money drain by the courts and appointed anointed-ones is the power to isolate the victims. (Yes, victims. What else would you call the people, who suddenly are imprisoned and forced to be and have done unto them what they would not, and do not, want done unto them and theirs?)
How can someone that robs another of companionship, enjoyment, freedom, money, property and simply an existence called living, be considered humane? Animals are treated better than many of the elderly and disabled thrown into the system, because they could be thrown into the system — even if by a wrongful technicality in the law or by a court that is complicit due to bias or simply doesn’t look beyond the surface or listen to the bothersome advocates or nobodies that dare speak against the supposed “perfect” attorneys, professional guardians and such? They never lie or steal or do unethical things, now do they?
In recent news, we have heard…
“WASHINGTON — Three central Ohio nursing homes were among 33 in 11 states cited for improper care and billing practices yesterday as part of a $38 million settlement among a major nursing-home company, the U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Ohio.
“The announcement in Washington and Columbus resolved an investigation by the federal government, Ohio and seven other states into charges that Extendicare of Canada provided services at those 33 homes that were “materially substandard” or “worthless” because the company did not provide care to residents that meets federal standards, according to the settlement agreement.” (Federal investigation finds three local nursing homes lacking )
Now wait a minute. I thought “all” facilities provided only the best of care and that complainers were just making things up or exaggerating. They weren’t?
More recent news…
“The Ohio Supreme Court has suspended Akron attorney Rami M. Awadallah from practicing law after ruling that he fraudulently and deceptively represented several of his clients — including some in Lorain County — during court proceedings.” (Ohio Supreme Court suspends area attorney)
What’s that? An attorney “fraudulently and deceptively represented several of his clients”? But… but… but… I thought that was impossible? I thought “all” attorneys “always” spoke nothing but the truth and “always” acted in the best interest of the client or ward. He didn’t? What’s up with this?
More in the news…
“Paul S. Kormanik, a Columbus attorney considered up until two months ago to be legal guardian to more incompetent people than anyone else in the nation, was indicted today on theft charges by a Franklin County grand jury.
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and Attorney General Mike DeWine will announce the charges this afternoon after the grand jury determined there was sufficient evidence that Kormanik stole about $41,000 from two of his wards.” (Lawyer indicted for theft from those he was supposed to protect)
An attorney — a legal guardian — was indicted for what? Stealing? Stealing from people he was the guardian for? Oh my! Bubble buster!
While we are talking about a system lacking perfection and often tilted towards the powerful, though not necessarily the righteous or side with the cleanest of hands, let’s return, for a moment, to discussion involving isolation of the wards. What judge or guardian or facility could possibly think isolation of a non-violent, non-contagious person is a good thing?
Decades ago, researchers found there is such a thing as “failure to thrive”. It actually exists. There is no question. Why then, would anyone place another person in isolation and risk that person dying due to “failure to thrive”? Why? How can it be justified? It can’t! Therefore, I believe, anyone involved in isolating a non-violent, non-contagious person, should have to answer why they should not be charged with kidnapping and abuse or even murder, should the person die as a result.
I can think of numerous cases where people have been thrown into isolation and the ironies surrounding it all is out there in a suburb of the Twilight Zone. Yes, so amazing is it all that I’m surprised a “duh” isn’t permanently imprinted upon both the perps and the out-of-touch — can’t get it — zombie followers that go around drooling false talking points, as though it is gospel, while alleging the truth-tellers are the liars.
When a ward is put into isolation, who is the threat? The one that ordered the isolation or the one challenging it?
When a petition is presented to starve & dehydrate a ward, who is the threat? The person who did the petitioning or the one that fights for life, visitation, rehabilitation and stimulation?
The answers should be quite easy to figure out, but instead, it looks as though too much power and trust has been placed where not deserved. It would seem, according to recent news, that we can’t always assume the courts and appointed anointed-ones are of perfection and holier than thou after all. Maybe sometimes they are up to no good and their word isn’t worth what comes out of a donkey’s rump. And, maybe sometimes people are wrong, but without any ill-intent. Maybe they just lost sight and are blinded by self-preservation and inability to admit error. But how do we know? How do we know, if we don’t inquire and investigate behind the curtain, especially a curtain pulled tightly, as if to keep any from peeking in?
Advocates are necessary in a world that seems to have lost its way. A world with too many who have come to believe good is evil and evil is good. People that see the lie as truth and the truth as lie. People who often admire the wrong-doer and find fault with the victim and the victim’s advocates. People who aren’t even aware any longer that they might be wrong, because they are somehow “entitled”. Aren’t they supposed to get more and be treated better than those they treat so poorly?
No? Who says? Who dares to challenge the new rule of they who control the lives and assets of vulnerable ones ordered to be incompetent, even though they — the vulnerable — might not be as incompetent or alone as decreed by a court?
Who dares to give challenge?
The advocates, whether they be professional advocates or family or friends or even concerned citizens made aware of someone’s plight — that’s who dares give challenge!
Yes, true advocates are necessary as long as the madness and wrongness reigns. May the war be quickly won and the vulnerable-victims placed in the hands of those who dare to truly and unselfishly care!
It’s time to challenge! It’s time to win! It’s time to give lives back to those who have been violated by a system gone wrong!
by Linda Kincaid
The latest grand jury report was spurred by a complaint that the office mishandled a case in which a client died before being conserved by the county.
The 2013 Civil Grand Jury report noted that written procedures at the Public Guardian’s office were not current. In some cases, procedures were years out of date.
The 2014 Civil Grand Jury report noted that written procedures at the Public Guardian’s office had current dates, but content was not current. Procedure 804.0 (slideshow above) concerning “Client Visitors, Phone Calls, Personal Mail” is of special interest given Moody’s history of unlawful imprisonment and isolation of conservatees.
In 2012, the Public Guardian was isolating conservatees from family and friends. No visitors. No phone calls. No mail. The 2013 Civil Grand Jury investigation was initiated in response to a complaint filed by this Examiner.
Conservatee Gisela Riordan was unlawfully imprisoned and isolated at San Jose assisted living facility Villa Fontana for over two years. Conservatee Lillie Scalia was isolated for a year. Both women had families who wished to visit them and to care for them. Moody used his victims’ own funds to pay to the unlawful imprisonment and isolation.
ABC7 I-Team investigated numerous abuses by Moody’s office. See video above.
Media coverage and citizen advocacy led to passage of Assembly Bill 937 (2013), which clarified that conservatees have the right to receive visitors, phone calls, and personal mail. Governor Brown signed the bill on August 19, 2013. The bill amended Probate Code 2351(a) as of January 1, 2014.
2351. (a) Subject to subdivision (b), the guardian or conservator, but not a limited conservator, has the care, custody, and control of, and has charge of the education of, the ward or conservatee. This control shall not extend to personal rights retained by the conservatee, including, but not limited to, the right to receive visitors, telephone calls, and personal mail, unless specifically limited by court order.
Procedure 804.0 fails to comply with the legislative intent or the plain language of AB 937. Conservatees have an immediate right to have visitors. The Probate Code does not modify the right such that elderly or disabled individuals can only receive visitors after a week’s delay or if the Public Guardian decides to cooperate with the visit.
The plain language of the Code is clear. Conservatee’s have the right to receive visitors, unless specifically limited by court order. The 2015 Civil Grand Jury might find Procedure 804.0 to be of interest.
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Elder abuse by Santa Clara County Public Guardian: PG escorted from building
by Linda Kincaid — Examiner.com — January 26, 2014
The Monterey County Public Guardian is seeking authority to forcibly administer antipsychotic (psychotropic) medications to conservatee and elder abuse victim Margarita Zelada. The FDA has repeatedly warned against administration of psychotropic medications to elderly patients.California’s Department of Aging posted the following comments about use of antipsychotic drugs on elderly patients.
Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 72018 defines a CHEMICAL RESTRAINT as: “a drug used to control behavior and used in a manner not required to treat the patient’s medical symptoms.” All residents have a right to be free from the use of chemical restraints. (42 CFR §483.13(a); 22 CCR §72527(a)(23); 22 CCR §72319), yet, the use of antipsychotic drugs on those with dementia is common practice and often used as an alternative to the needed care of these individuals.
California’s Notice of Conservatee’s Rights states the conservatee has the right to:
Make his or her own medical decisions
California’s Handbook for Conservators states on page 284:
Prescription medicines used to alter cognition, mood, or behavior. These medicines are sometimes used to treat persons with dementia. You need specific prior court authority based on a strong showing to authorize the use of these drugs in the treatment of the conservatee.
Violation of Margarita’s rights is nothing new for the Monterey County Public Guardian. A request for chemical restraint is the latest in a series of violations of rights and denial of due process.
In March 2013, the Monterey County Public Guardian had Margarita forcibly removed from her daughter’s home in Pacific Grove, California. Witnesses reported that ten police officers stormed the house with guns drawn. They pulled Margarita from her bed, rolled her in a sheet, and strapped her to a gurney. A waiting ambulance took Margarita from her daughter’s home, never to be allowed to return.
Since March 2013, the Public Guardian allowed Margarita only three short visits with her daughter. During those visits, Margarita had strong words for her false imprisonment by the Public Guardian.
The most important thing for any person is their liberty. I want my liberty. I am in prison.
They lie. They lie!
They are thieves and liars.
The Public Guardian responded to Margarita’s comments by terminating visitation with her daughter. The Public Guardian sought and obtained a court order to strip Margarita of her right to meet with elder rights advocates. The Public Guardian has denied Margarita all visitation since November 15, 2013.
Family and advocates suspect that Margarita may be protesting her false imprisonment and unlawful isolation. The Public Guardian is now seeking authority for chemical restraint, defined by the State of California as a drug used to control behavior and used in a manner not required to treat the patient’s medical symptoms.
On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Monterey County Probate Court is scheduled to hear a petition by the Public Guardian. That petition states:
3. The conservatee needs or would benefit from the administration of certain medications appropriate for the care and treatment of dementia.
4. The conservatee lacks the capacity to give consent to the administration of the appropriate medications.
9. The capacity determination of Dr. Blatt, which has been filed under separate confidential cover as Exhibit B and which is incorporated fully herein by this reference, contains the following information:
a. The deficits in the conservatee’s impaired mental function;
b. The correlation between mental function deficit(s) and the conservatee’s inability to respond knowingly and intelligently to queries about the recommended medical treatment or inability to participate in a treatment decision about appropriate medication by means of a rational thought process;
c. A statement of opinion that the conservatee lacks the capacity to give informed consent to the administration of the psychotropic mediation, and that the conservatee needs or would benefit from the proposed appropriate mediation.
If the court issues the order, the Public Guardian will have authority to forcibly administer antipsychotic drugs as chemical restraint of a woman who was torn from her daughter and kept in unlawful isolation for nearly a year.
The Public Guardian reports to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Readers may contact the Board at the following email addresses.
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
District 1: Fernando Armenta, [email protected]
District 2: Louis R. Calcagno, [email protected]
District 3: Simón Salinas, [email protected]
District 4: Jane Parker, [email protected]
District 5: Dave Potter, [email protected]
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Elder abuse: Monterey County Public Guardian seeks order for chemical restraint
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Elder abuse: Monterey County Public Guardian seeks order for chemical restraint
The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse posted a memorial for war hero, Hugh Johnson. NASGA honored Johnson’s service in World War II and recounted the horrors of being a German prisoner of war. The memorial also recounted the greater horrors of Johnson’s last months in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Horrors of war and POW camps did not prepare Hugh for the horrors of guardianship in Wake County, North Carolina. A healthy active man who still enjoyed golf at 95, Hugh deteriorated rapidly under Guardian Cheryl Theriault of Raleigh based Aging Family Services.
Aging Family Services’ cautions “the last thing you want is for them to end up in a nursing home.” Family never imagined the nightmare Theriault’s guardianship would bring.
Theriault immediately removed Hugh from his upscale home, isolated him from family, and chemically restrained him with the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel. Five months after being taken from home, Hugh was frail, bedridden, and incontinent. His legs and feet were covered with sores that would not heal.
Denied the personal care of a loving daughter, Hugh languished at The Covington. The facility advertises “truly affordable assisted living.” Our Parents website gives The Covington 2 out of 5 stars. Daughter Ginny Johnson called it, “NASTY. NASTY.”
Comparing The Covington to his time as a POW, Hugh said, “My German captors kept me better.” Meals were missed. Rooms were filthy. Hugh suffered 28 falls, a broken rib, and his partial plate was lost.
Theriault responded by moving Hugh to Blue Ridge Nursing Home. That facility lost its eligibility for federal funding and was assessed a $4,550-a-day civil penalty for 6-weeks in spring 2012.
Geriatric Care Manager Heather Joyner of Aging Family Services so neglected Hugh that she was removed from his case. Geriatric Adult Guardianship Social Worker Karen Johnson replaced Joyner. Ginny described both Joyner and Johnson as “so, so, so HATEFUL.”
Ginny complained to Theriault over and over. She emphasized that Seroquel is not approved for use in elderly patients, and Hugh was having severe adverse reactions. Theriault ignored Ginny’s complaints, just as she ignored Hugh’s welfare and his wishes.
On January 9, 2014, attorney A. Justin Eldreth sent Ginny Johnson a cease and desist letter. The letter threatens that Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services will sue Ginny for defamation if Hugh Johnson’s memorial is not removed from the NASGA website.
Accordingly, we demand that you (a) immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc., by writing to the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse to request that they remove any mention of either Cheryl Theriault or Aging Family Services, Inc. from their website, specifically, the information located at http://stopguardianabuse.org/hugh_johnson.htm; (b) provide this office with a copy of your written request; and (c) provide this office with prompt written assurance that you will cease and desist from further defamation of the character and reputation of Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc. All this must be done within ten (10) days from the date of this letter.
If you do not comply with the cease and desist demand within this time period, Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services, Inc. is entitled to seek monetary damages and equitable relief for your defamation. In the event that you fail to meet this demand, please be informed that Cheryl Theriault and Aging Family Services. Inc. has asked us to communicate to you that she will pursue all available remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.
Ginny did not compose the memorial on the NASGA website. Ginny has no control over the NASGA website. Ginny has no ability to delete content from NASGA’s website.
Readers may express their concerns to Cheryl Theriault at Aging Family Services.
Aging Family Services
4812 Six Fork Roads, Suite 110
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609
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Aging Family Services threatens daughter for exposing elder abuse of war hero