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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My mother is in residential care. I was accused by one of her

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My mother is in residential care. I was accused by one of her nurses of "pushing" her and she filed a criminal complaint against me for harassment. The allegation was dismissed by the police within 24 hours as I have a good reputation among the staff and administration of the nursing home. However, she apparently spread word among some of the staff about the fact that she filed a criminal complaint against me. Her conduct has created some duress among my family as the police officer investigating her allegation left a voice mail on my home phone which my wife, who is currently battling cancer, heard. I made a formal complaint about this nurse's conduct to the nursing home and she was given a week off work while they investigated my complaint. I am due to meet with these administrators tomorrow morning. Do I have grounds to file a civil complaint against the nurse for filing a false criminal complaint against me? Do I have the right to request that the nurse be terminated because of my belief that she can no longer be counted on to deliver quality care to my mother?

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer thank you for choosing Just Answer, I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

I am sorry to learn of this unfortunate set of circumstances, and I am happy to learn that the allegations were dealt with quickly. Given the public policies strongly favoring reporting elder abuse (and crimes in general), it is unlikely that you can pursue a civil complaint against this individual unless you can show that she did so out of malice or for some other purpose. (I do not know if this is the case or not, but the bar for a civil complaint like this is very high).

William B. Esq. :

Regarding having this individual terminated from her position. You have no independent legal right to have her terminated. Your mother is receiving a service being provided by this care home, and if you are dissatisfied with their care or their staff, you may go elsewhere. With that being said, as a consumer with the ability to either praise or discredit their services, they will likely take great efforts to satisfy your demands for an environment free from discredited claims. The center does have an obligation to thoroughly investigate the matter, and must ensure that employees have the freedom to bring a true abuse case to their attention without the threat of retribution, but at the same time this does not give individuals an unfettered right to call the police with baseless allegations.

William B. Esq. :

I hope that my answer was of assistance to you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you for your business!

CalAttorney2 and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Dear Customer,

Thank you for choosing Just Answer. I was just notified that my posts from earlier today did not go out as I published them. With regard to your question, in the event you did not receive my answer, I am providing the same information below.

The individual likely has very strong protections against any civil suit. The public policy to encourage individuals to report criminal activity (not just elder abuse) are very strong, and absent a proven motive to use the criminal report for some ulterior purpose, it is unlikely that you would succeed on any civil claim.

With regard to the business. The business has no obligation to fire or retain this person on staff. They do have customers that they would benefit from keeping happy (including you and your mother). The facility's position should be one of customer service as it deals with you. Similarly to the public policy, the home does want to ensure that valid claims of elder abuse are reported without fear of retribution, but this does not mean that it has to allow unfounded claims such as this be made without penalties. This is likely why the facility took a week long investigation into this matter.

I apologize for the inconvenience, please do not hesitate to follow up. Once I was able to fully answer your question, please do not forget to rate my service.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Bill, Thank you for your response. I realized, after reading your reply, that I had not been sufficiently clear in my initial question. The nurse did not allege that I pushed my mother, the nurse alleged that I had pushed her. (This nurse has had a running issue with my entire family. My sister and wife have had unpleasant encounters with her prior to her making this allegation against me.). Regardless of this point, I take to heart your response and assume that your opinion would be unchanged by this one difference in the facts. Thank you for taking time to reply to my concern. Best regards.

Dear Customer,

You are correct the analysis does not change very much (it actually improves the calculation for her being terminated, in your favor slightly as the lack of elder abuse issues for the home makes the decision to discipline this employee much easier, although they still have to worry about balancing it is less of a critical/statutory issue).

Thank you for the kind rating, and I do wish you the very best of luck.

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