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Michigan Attorney General Cox Charges Two UP Nursing Home Employees With Patient Abuse and Failure to Report; Kingsford CNA, Sault St. Marie Administrator Violated Laws Regarding Care of Residents in Their 90s

Lansing, MI - Attorney General Mike Cox announced today that he has charged a Kingsford Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with abuse of a 99-year-old female nursing home resident. In a separate case, Cox charged a former Sault Ste. Marie nursing home administrator with failing to report injury and neglect of a 90-year-old female resident who later died. "My Health Care Fraud Division continues to protect Michigan's most vulnerable citizens by ensuring they receive the care they deserve and prosecuting those who violate that standard of care," said Cox. Attorney General investigators took Janice Marie Dal Santo, 42, of Kingsford, a CNA at Manorcare Health Services nursing home in Kingsford, into custody Wednesday. Judge Michael J. Kusz arraigned Dal Santo Wednesday on one count of misdemeanor Patient Abuse, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. Judge Kusz set Dal Santo's bond at $5,000 personal recognizance and she will be back in court on November 3 at 11:00 a.m. for a pre-trial hearing. Cox alleges in the complaint that on or about March 3, 2005, Dal Santo yelled, swore, and verbally assaulted a 99-year-old female resident, then threw a diaper at her face, slapped her hand and sprayed water directly into her face. The incident was investigated by the facility and reported to the Department of Community Health. Attorney General investigators also took former Tendercare of Sault Ste. Marie administrator James E. Wagner, age 58, of Sault Ste. Marie into custody Wednesday. Judge Michael W. MacDonald arraigned Wagner Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie's 91st District Court on one misdemeanor count of Failure to Report Injury and Neglect, which carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. Judge MacDonald released Wagner on a personal recognizance bond and Wagner will be back in court for a pre-trial conference at a yet-to-be- announced date. Cox alleges that Wagner failed to notify the Michigan Department of Community Health, as required by law, that on or about March 17, 2005, a 90- year-old female resident was found lying unconscious and injured in the hallway of the facility. The resident's physical condition was indicative of a head injury or stroke, yet it took approximately two hours before facility staff had the resident transported to the hospital, where she died nine days later. A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. To report Medicaid provider fraud or patient abuse in a resident care facility, call the Attorney General's 24-hour Hotline at 1-800 24-ABUSE (800- 242-2873); e-mail hcf@michigan.gov; or visit the Attorney General's Web site at http://www.michigan.gov/ag .

September 29, 2005

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