Charges dismissed in nursing home death

Full story: WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan

A judge has dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against three people in the death of a 50-year-old woman at a nursing home in western Michigan.
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1 - 20 of 48 Comments Last updated Jun 8, 2010
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dca midland

Essexville, MI

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#1
Feb 27, 2009
 
I believe there was negligence on Metron staff during that time. My aunt was there around the same time and she almost died because they weren't taking good care of her and she was admitted into the hospital again is worse shape than she was when she went to Metron. She was later put into a different facility and recovered with better care. The horror stories we heard from her were an eye opener...she was afraid she would die there if someone didn't get her out...and she's a smart woman.
Not Guilty

Grand Rapids, MI

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#2
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Thank God someone has some common sense! Those poor people work endless and thankless hours to care for these people who are put in nursing homes so that families don't have to be bothered by their 'loved ones' and this is how it turns out - if they die, let's sue or charge someone. Just isn't right. I hope these three folks will be able to rest once again and find work.

“Lucky”

Since: Sep 08

Charm City

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#3
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Not Guilty wrote:
Thank God someone has some common sense! Those poor people work endless and thankless hours to care for these people who are put in nursing homes so that families don't have to be bothered by their 'loved ones' and this is how it turns out - if they die, let's sue or charge someone. Just isn't right. I hope these three folks will be able to rest once again and find work.
I have a great deal of respect for anyone that works in this industry. It is hard work and they can get burned out very quickly. It takes a caring person to do this. However, I do not agree that people that put their family member in a nursing home or long term care facility just do it so they do not have to "be bothered". My mother in law was put in St. Ann's because she needed the care and attention that we could not provide for her. have you ever tried to care for someone with Alzheimer's? They do not sleep or eat properly a lot of the time. She would get violent when you tried to give her meds for high blood pressure. She would try to leave in the middle of the night or be scared to death because she did not know who you were and you were in her house. I think you need to rethink your comment about "being bothered" by your loved one. The staff at St. Ann's were there around the clock and wonderful to her. Thank goodness for those caring people. And thank goodness that my mother in law had a family that loved her very much and wanted the best for her.
FINALLY

Middleville, MI

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#4
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Not Guilty wrote:
Thank God someone has some common sense! Those poor people work endless and thankless hours to care for these people who are put in nursing homes so that families don't have to be bothered by their 'loved ones' and this is how it turns out - if they die, let's sue or charge someone. Just isn't right. I hope these three folks will be able to rest once again and find work.
I couldn't agree with you more!!!!! I have worked in the health care field for more than 25 years and I know that nursing homes become a "dumping ground" for their loved ones, and when something goes wrong, they try to blame the nursing home that had been taking care of them. Well, if the nursing home was so bad, why in the world would you leave your loved one there??? I think it's their way of trying to cope with their guilt of not caring for them.

Since: Mar 08

Jenison

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#5
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Let's remember a simple fact of the case. Sarah Comber needed oxygen to live. The nursing staff let it run out, and then covered it up. That's both negligence and criminal.

I used to be a nurse's aide more than twenty years ago, and additionally have had family members in these facilities. My own father died a year ago in one of them. So I know what it's like in these facilities, and know what it takes to work in them.

But Metron has had problems with compliance time and time again, so for the judge to say there's not enough of a cause to prosecute is just plain bunk!
Dr Ross

Edmore, MI

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#6
Feb 27, 2009
 

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and this just goes to show what is wrong with the world today we have judges making medical decisions that they are not qualified for

Since: Dec 08

United States

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#7
Feb 27, 2009
 

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I been involved with nursing homes in the past. It's hard work. These three people should be held accountable for the "cover-up". I hope Mike Cox will appeal this case.

Since: Dec 08

United States

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#8
Feb 27, 2009
 

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We need NURSING HOME REFORM, here in Michigan.
Half Days

United States

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#9
Feb 27, 2009
 

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I vote that the judge must live at this place when she becomes old and decrepit. Physically that is...it seems she is already there in her thinking.
Time

Grand Rapids, MI

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#10
Feb 27, 2009
 

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The judge did look at the facts. The fact is no one "covered" anything up, Larry of Hastings. It has been very apparent that Mr Cox has done this for publicity. I mean why don't we hear about hospitals? They screw up daily.
I am glad someone has stood up to him.
grlady

Grand Rapids, MI

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#11
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Bon Van wrote:
Let's remember a simple fact of the case. Sarah Comber needed oxygen to live. The nursing staff let it run out, and then covered it up. That's both negligence and criminal.
I used to be a nurse's aide more than twenty years ago, and additionally have had family members in these facilities. My own father died a year ago in one of them. So I know what it's like in these facilities, and know what it takes to work in them.
But Metron has had problems with compliance time and time again, so for the judge to say there's not enough of a cause to prosecute is just plain bunk!
With all due respect, and after looking over the evidence previously submitted, I say that the hospital who released this woman is to blame. She was released from the hospital on VERY high O2 levels, and was released to a floor on a nursing home that wasn't equipped to handle someone who needed that much monitoring.

It is clear that the woman should have been on an ICU unit or at the very least a med-surg unit where she could and should have been properly monitored for her oxygen levels.

Hospitals these days are so quick to push people out the door that they don't stop to think that the people may not be properly cared for no matter where or what situation they are sending them too; they just want them gone.
grlady

Grand Rapids, MI

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#12
Feb 27, 2009
 
Dr Ross wrote:
and this just goes to show what is wrong with the world today we have judges making medical decisions that they are not qualified for
And the State Attorney General's office is?
Justice Rules

Flint, MI

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#13
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Mike Cox was politically grand standing in this case. He stood in front of the cameras when he was running for office but never showed his face in court. All felony charges were dropped. Last time I knew adultery is a felony in Michigan.

Since: Apr 08

Grand Rapids MI

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#14
Feb 27, 2009
 

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"no smoking gun?" What does this judge need? a video feed of the event?
I guess the question here is, would you put one of your family members in this nursing home?
Zuker

United States

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#15
Feb 27, 2009
 

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If Mr. Cox did do this for publicity, SHAME ON HIM! However, if he had reasonable cause, based on any evidence, then it shouldn't have been shrugged off. I guess I do have to question why, if they thought she died of oxygen depravation, why wasn't an autopsy ordered to determine if she did in fact die from lack of oxygen. Shame on Judge Grant for publicly accusing Mike Cox of using this as a publicity stunt. Sounds to me like Judge Grant could use alittle humility as well. She sure seems to be on her high horse. Even better, the news knew about the decision before Cox's Office did. Great Professionalism Judge. Your a peach!!
jenn

Kalamazoo, MI

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#16
Feb 27, 2009
 

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THEY COULD NOT DETERMINE IF THE OXYGEN RAN OUT BEFORE OR AFTER SHE DIED. The only way to know that would be if someone had been in that room with her 24/7. Since this can not be determined, they cannot convict on this. You all may hate it, but it is the justice system.
Not much unlike saying that if a person wished someone would die, then said person died. It's not the wisher's fault. It happens. I'm sorry for the family, but obviously things could of been done for this woman to prevent her from having to enter the nursing home in the long run. Better medical care when she was younger, who knows what else. But are they going to try the family for doing or not doing something then because it caused her to end up in a nursing home where her oxygen ran out? NO. This type of thing is why people go into nursing homes with a small fortune in the bank, and die with nothing, not even enough to pay for their funerals.
memmefasggg

Troy, MI

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#17
Feb 27, 2009
 

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How wrong to have no chrages.. The are gulity. Justice is WRONG ... Her care was not for her . The out come she died !
are you kidding me

United States

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#18
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Thank-you JUDGE!!!! I commend the judge for seeing right through the injustice of Mike Cox.
I am terrible sorry for the death of this person but the hardworking staff at the nursing home did not kill this person.
hazel

United States

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#19
Feb 27, 2009
 

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Having gone thru something similiar a few years ago with my father, I am disappointed that they did not find these people guilty. Yes the health care workers are overworked and underpaid, but that is no excuse for the lack of care these facilities give. I also agree that hospitals discharge way to hastily, but when Medicare is involved, and especially patients with special breathing problems, you are very restricted to where you can go. We need major reforms to the healthcare system in general, and with the aging population, especially the nursing home instustry. They charge outrageous amounts of money each month, suck every nickle they can out of you, then leave you unattended for hours at a time to waste away. I for one would like to know where the 6-10K they charge a month, goes. As far as sueing them goes, unless you are prepared to sit there 24/7 and record every incident with witnesses, good luck.

Since: Mar 08

Jenison

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#20
Feb 27, 2009
 
grlady wrote:
<quoted text>
With all due respect, and after looking over the evidence previously submitted, I say that the hospital who released this woman is to blame. She was released from the hospital on VERY high O2 levels, and was released to a floor on a nursing home that wasn't equipped to handle someone who needed that much monitoring.
It is clear that the woman should have been on an ICU unit or at the very least a med-surg unit where she could and should have been properly monitored for her oxygen levels.
Hospitals these days are so quick to push people out the door that they don't stop to think that the people may not be properly cared for no matter where or what situation they are sending them too; they just want them gone.
The problem is the coverup. Three people knew she ran out of oxygen, and then altered the paperwork after she had died. That's the crime here.

And maybe she should have been in a hospital, but insurance companies dictate how long a person can stay, and if they can go to an assisted care center or nursing home. Care has gone out the window because of it.

It's become about the almighty dollar, not about the people.

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