Charges dismissed in nursing home death

Charges dismissed in nursing home death

There are 48 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Feb 27, 2009, titled Charges dismissed in nursing home death. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

hazel

United States

#21 Feb 27, 2009
It's become about the almighty dollar, not about the people

Bingo! There is a major gap in the system for those that require specialized medical care but don't meet the level of normal hospital care.
I tell anyone that's over 55, spend a few days visiting someone in a nursing home, then go home and contact your congressman.
JP Pruitt

Plymouth, MI

#22 Feb 27, 2009
Does WOODTV proof these things? "The judges decision sparking harsh words"???
A friend of Sharon Mumah

Morley, MI

#23 Feb 28, 2009
I don't know the other people involved in the Metron case...but I know Sharon Mumah. I know everyone has an opinion on this case, but let me tell you from personal experience. I have never met someone who has a high degree of ethics, accountability, and dedication than Sharon. There is ABSOLUTELY no way she could have been involved in any type of cover-up of any wrong doing. If anything, SHE would have been the one to blow the whistle on a bad situation. Furthermore, our constitution says a person needs to be convicted on evidence that is compelling and beyond the shadow of a doubt....this is what attempts to keep innocent people from being in jail or convicted of a crime. I'm sorry...but the AG's office did not show evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt. Three cheers for Judge Grant in taking a stand against Mr. Cox's attempts at free publicity. By the way, just how many cases brought forth by Mr Cox have now been dismissed???? I can think of several. I think it's time for Mr Cox to slip away quietly into the night.....and stay that way...
4ensicchick

Sterling, MI

#24 Feb 28, 2009
Everyone in the State of Michigan needs to wake up when it comes to what's really going on in nursing homes and hospitals here.

Abuse and neglect occur every day in these facilities. Families witness unthinkable acts against our loved ones on a daily basis, and when we try to do something about it, we're the ones who get attacked.

We file complaints about the abuse and neglect, and the state then supposedly "investigates" these matters. No matter what happens, complaints are conveniently written up as "unsubstantiated" - despite the evidence that proves the abuse and neglect occurred.

We collect all kinds of evidence and offer to provide detailed documentation to those in authority (including local law enforcement agencies, the Michigan Attorney General's Office and the Michigan Department of Community Health)- and all these people do is not respond and/or play "dumb" and look the other way.

Regarding county medical examiners, we ask them to do complete autopsies to determine the causes and manners of death, and they only help cover up the crimes against our loved ones.

Regarding judges, they also convenientlly play "dumb" and look the other way (despite all of the evidence). Judges always side with the nursing homes and hospitals that continuously claim they did nothing "wrong" - which is exactly what happened in this case.

This system is screwed up, and these crimes against humanity continue to go unpunished.
take care

Grand Rapids, MI

#25 Feb 28, 2009
There are some very good nursing homes out there.There are some horrible nursing homes out there.It is a crap shoot. I am blessed that my parents are still living. I have said it many times, my folks will NEVER be put in a nursing home.I will keep them with me.They have enough saved where I can have help 24/7. Should the day come, I will at least have peace of mind that they are being well cared for. Well fed, bathed daily, kept comfortable but mostly given love and attention.

Since: Sep 08

Deerfield, IL

#26 Feb 28, 2009
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!
Except for one small detail the AG forgot to prove or could not prove that she died from Oxygen deprivation. It is not enough to prove negligence, they have to PROVE causation. Apparently they did not to this judge's satisfaction. I am sure it will be appealed so don't you all get your undies in a bind over it yet.
Medical Person

Englewood, CO

#27 Feb 28, 2009
Just a couple of things to add. First off, it is very tragic that Ms. Comer passed away; however, she had a number of co-morbidities and it would not have been long before she expired on her own, regardless of the oxygen tank in her room. The other thing with respect to Mr. Cox is that when he held his press conference to announce the charges, he did not do so in Mecosta County where the alleged crime occurred, he did it in Grand Rapids where there would be maximum press coverage. This clearly demonstrated a desire to obtain maximum (political) exposure for himself. How concerned could he be for the victim and the family when he does that? As a medical person I see all the time the issues in nursing homes but I know these people at Metron and they would not "cover up" anything.
So What

Denver, CO

#28 Feb 28, 2009
Sounds like an expensive settlement coming up.
NO JUSTICE

AOL

#29 Feb 28, 2009
This judge is obviously out of her mind! There is CLEAR negligence in this woman's death! Is this Judge just plain STUPID? APPEAL APPEAL APPEAL!!!!!
Mike Cox........ DO NOT LET THIS REST WITHOUT A FIGHT! we have no justice what so ever, there is more than enough evidence for CLEAR NEGLIGENCE! Metron was not even compliant with many other issues, and the damn judge issues not guilty??? WTF is Michigan becoming?

“lover”

Since: Feb 09

Dorr MI

#30 Feb 28, 2009
The sad part is nothing was settled. Cox was grandstanding, and the judge didn't care about justice, just that she didn't like Cox. Now the family has no satisfaction of knowing the truth. The workers at the home have a cloud of doubt hanging over their head. Nothing has been resolved. Justice has not been served. What a great legal system we have.
bunnee

United States

#31 Feb 28, 2009
Looks like there is a little "tift" going on between the Judge in this case and Atty Gen, Mike Cox, but the Judge has a good point

Since: Dec 08

Lake Mary, FL

#32 Feb 28, 2009
Time wrote:
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.
Someone didn't do their job. Mike Cox tried, but some left-wing judge toss the case. I hope Mike Cox becomes our next governor, maybe we can have some real nursing home reform.
bunnee

United States

#33 Feb 28, 2009
NO JUSTICE wrote:
Metron was not even compliant with many other issues, and the damn judge issues not guilty???**** is Michigan becoming?
Any OTHER issues have NOTHING to do with this case; THAT is what alot of people here DON'T get; There is no PROOF that the woman passed away due to her oxygen tank being empty; Is that the cause of death on the death certificate???

No wonder there is a shortage of folks who want to work in this type of setting; How about this: Instead of putting your loved one in a home, take them into your home and YOU take care of them
grlady

Grand Rapids, MI

#34 Feb 28, 2009
take care wrote:
There are some very good nursing homes out there.There are some horrible nursing homes out there.It is a crap shoot. I am blessed that my parents are still living. I have said it many times, my folks will NEVER be put in a nursing home.I will keep them with me.They have enough saved where I can have help 24/7. Should the day come, I will at least have peace of mind that they are being well cared for. Well fed, bathed daily, kept comfortable but mostly given love and attention.
KEEP DREAMING!

What if one of them has a major accident and there goes the savings? Are you then going to be the one to carry their 160+ lb bodies around, change their diapers every two hours, feed them pureed food and keep an eye on them 24/7 if they are wandering due to Alzheimer's or dementia?

Nursing homes are not the be-all end-all of life. Many out there are good, and provide GOOD quality care, you just have to find the right one.

Those who just throw a loved one into a nursing home and don't check twice on it are the ones to blame.
gonefishin27

United States

#35 Feb 28, 2009
Living Large2 wrote:
The sad part is nothing was settled. Cox was grandstanding, and the judge didn't care about justice, just that she didn't like Cox. Now the family has no satisfaction of knowing the truth. The workers at the home have a cloud of doubt hanging over their head. Nothing has been resolved. Justice has not been served. What a great legal system we have.
As a registered Republican who has watched Cox for years I for one will tell you I wouldn't vote for this guy for Dog Catcher let alone Governor. He is an arrogant narcissistic jerk. The does nothing that isn't going to feather his nest. I certainly hope the Republican party can come up with a better candidate than this for the next election. He is no better than what we have right now.
LB from GR

Parker, CO

#36 Feb 28, 2009
I know this case and the facility. I would put my mother there tomorrow. The public does not understand, we are people taking care of very sick people and things are sometimes not going to go right. It happens in our hospitals every day. However Mike Cox could not get the same publicity from that. Funny he never did anything with this case unless it was near election time. HE DESTROYED PEOPLES LIVES for his advancement. DON'T VOTE THIS AWFUL MAN INTO THE GOVENORS OFFICE because that is the REAL REASON FOR THIS CASE!
60nurse

Aurora, CO

#37 Feb 28, 2009
THANK YOU, grlady!!! You hit the nail on the HEAD!!! This case was NOT about the many failings of nursing homes NOR the employees. This case is about the DELIBERATE falsification of records AFTER the death, which would speak to me that someone KNEW they would be investigated and then blamed for this woman's death. Otherwise, what would they have to be worried about regarding the charting?

Yes, we are all too aware of the short-comings of Nursing homes. Unfortunately, the STATE determines what the minimum number of "bodies" are allowed on staff at any given time! And to cut costs and increase the bottom line, these nursing homes keep their work crews to the minimum. And it's really hard to find good staff as well, so you end up working short most of the time. THAT'S the reason for what many here are deeming "negligent care" by reason of all their descriptions of the horrors of these long term care facilities.

And there are just too many comments here regarding how hard the job is, etc. Then why do people go into this line of work if they KNOW what they will be facing? Because, actually, the wages for a CENA ARE very reasonable, plus the personal satisfaction that the employee receives when they give care to this segment of our society, elsewise they would not be doing it, don't you think?

Because I worked at a Metron facility during that time, I also was told that the house physician at that time jALSO was under suspicion because of some falsification as well. So it's NOT about the "thankless" job these people do. It's a free country, they don't need to do it if they don't want to!!

“Just trying to make it”

Since: May 08

Dadeville, AL

#38 Mar 1, 2009
Metron of Allegan killed my neighbor.

They gave him too much oxygen and he suffocated as a result. Sad thing considering he was only in his early 60s.
Greed of Metron

United States

#39 Mar 1, 2009
Having worked at a Metron home as an RN I can tell you first hand the CORPORATION will admit anyone. One empty bed is one less payment coming in for them. The Metron homes are one of the worst Nursing Homes around. The greed of the corporation is ridiculous.

I remember one day when I received a phone call stating our bi-weekly paychecks were not going to be ready for us to pick up. Why? Metron was short on funds to pay their staff. However, their multimillion dollar corporate office continued as scheduled. No surprise here.

To admit a highly skilled nursing home patient you need to have many things in place to this to happen. The nursing home was not prepared to handle this patient. Was it the CNA's fault? NO. Was it the RN's fault? NO. It was strictly the fault of the nursing home who admitted her to make a buck. I say too many patients admitted into the Metron home because of their greed and not wanting to turn down MONEY.

Funny, owners (Piersma's) of Metron finally got called on the carpet. Again, money talks and BULL sh-- walks!!!! Glad to see Mr. Cox had enough balls to go after this corporation!!!

Now the Attorney General needs to go after Fifth Third Bank for all the criminal activity they are involved in!!! If he does he will really have my respect!!!!
Your are sooo Wrong

United States

#40 Mar 1, 2009
"Medical Person -Just a couple of things to add. First off, it is very tragic that Ms. Comer passed away; however, she had a number of co-morbidities and it would not have been long before she expired on her own, regardless of the oxygen tank in her room. The other thing with respect to Mr. Cox is that when he held his press conference to announce the charges, he did not do so in Mecosta County where the alleged crime occurred, he did it in Grand Rapids where there would be maximum press coverage. This clearly demonstrated a desire to obtain maximum (political) exposure for himself. How concerned could he be for the victim and the family when he does that? As a medical person I see all the time the issues in nursing homes but I know these people at Metron and they would not "cover up" anything.
You are sadly mistaken. I personally know first hand of all the cover ups that Metron has been involved in. My neighbor died at a Metron home due to an infected toe. He was very tall and should have had a custom bed. However, he was in a standard hospital bed and his toe nail became infected. Why??? The bed was too short and he his foot was contracted downward. Therefore, his toe nails were always rubbing on the bed post.
Over the course of his stay,his toe nail became so infected he had to be put on antibiotics. He died within weeks. He had little family support or friends to question why he had died. This was all pushed under the rug.
Metron and Mercy General are about as dishonest as any medical facility can get!!! Cox needs to continue to pursue this case. He needs to investigate Mercy Hospital in Muskegon as well. He needs to really check out the Ped Manager at Mercy (Hackley) campus!!! She is a real joke and would do what it took to continue having her job. Never worked a day on any ped. hospital floor as an RN. Yet, is now promoted to be "Manager". All too scary for anyone to comprehend!!! Yet, because it is Mercy General it is NOT surprising at all!!!

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