Horrific Nursing Home Neglect Case is a Startling Wake-Up Call

Nursing home abuse often goes overlooked because patients may be scared to report abuse or neglect. Even when elderly residents have loving family members close by, sometimes the unspeakable happens anyway.

Such is the case of a 68-year-old nursing home patient Maureen Doren, who died after being neglected, according to her sister Lori Centrella, at the Woodbridge Developmental Center in Avenel. Lori Centrella is suing the facility for negligent behavior she believes was responsible for her sister, Maureen Doren’s, death.

According to published reports, Doren lived at Woodbridge, a state-run home, for 14 years and loved it. However, when the state announced the facility’s plan to close in 2012, Centrella alleges that is when the problems started. “Once staff started to cut back, they couldn’t keep an eye on everybody. People started tripping and getting hurt,” Centrella claimed.

Doren, described by her sister as a “big person in a six year old’s body,” suffered multiple injuries following an attack by another resident. According to Centrella, the resident entered her sister’s room and beat her with a metal chair while she lay in bed. After the attack, Doren was left with broken eye sockets, internal bleeding and a broken nose. Centrella contends the attack happened because there was not sufficient supervision in the nursing home.

A few months after the attack, Doren choked on food at the nursing home, according to reports by Centrella. “I spoke to a staff member there and was told confidentially she was being fed laying down,” she said, “and they were worried about her because they were told to feed her laying down.” Following the choking incident, Doren developed pneumonia and died.

Centrella said she wants someone to be held responsible for her sister’s death, saying, “It’s about accountability. No one has been held accountable for my sister choking to death or being beaten.”

This story is hard to read. Unfortunately, stories like this occur every day in nursing homes all over the United States. If you suspect the abuse or neglect of a loved one, contact a skilled attorney with significant experience in nursing home abuse. Barry Sugarman is passionate about helping families hold nursing homes responsible for abuse and neglect. He is not representing Centrella, but he has achieved significant success in many other nursing home abuse cases for families in Somerset and Camden counties and throughout New Jersey.

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