South Dakota nursing home facing litigation for employee actions

A South Dakota nursing home is facing a civil lawsuit after an employee took nude photos of a resident and posted them on social media.

The employee, a nurse’s aid named Callie Jones, undressed the resident, took nude photos of her, and posted them on social media. The civil suit, filed against the Golden Living Center in Pierre, South Dakota, seeks unspecified damages from the nursing home due to the physical and emotional injury to the victim caused by the incident. The suit, in which the victim’s representative asks for a jury trial, was filed on Jan. 29 and served by a sheriff’s deputy on Feb. 2. The nursing home has yet to file a response.

nursing-home-background-checksThe lawsuit accuses the Golden Living Center of negligence in hiring, training, and supervising Jones, failing to maintain the well-being of the victim, and failure to promote quality of life for the victim. A spokesperson for the facility stated that background checks are run on employees. However, these checks do not always account for unpredictable behavior following employment.

This is frequently a concern in nursing homes, which often face overcrowding and insufficient staffing to accommodate the ongoing needs of residents. In addition, older adults are at higher risk for abuse. Advocates for quality health care seek stricter policies of hiring and training to ensure that nursing home residents are treated with care and dignity.

Jones was charged in relation to this event. In June 2015, Jones faced a charge of misdemeanor for photographing the victim. She pleaded guilty to secretly recording the body of a person. She was sentenced to three days in jail.

The unnamed victim was a resident at the nursing home from Feb. 6 to June 25, 2015. She passed away on Aug. 5, 2015. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the victim by her family and estate.

The victim’s lawyer and the director of the Golden Living Center have not released statements at this time. The Golden Living Center has not indicated whether Jones is still employed at the facility. However, Jones’s social media pages do not list Golden Living Center as her place of employment.