Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Seven Charged in Neglect of Two Ohio Nursing Home Residents

Published on Feb 19, 2019 at 1:40 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Six employees and a contract worker at Whetstone Gardens and Care Center in Columbus have been indicted on a number of charges involving two neglected nursing home residents.

Two employees and the contract worker have been indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter in relation to two patients in 2017. The other four employees were indicted on a total of 34 charges after one patient died as a result of neglect and another patient suffered physical harm.

In February 2017, a male patient is believed to have suffered serious neglect after wounds turned gangrenous. The patient was taken to a hospital but passed away from septic shock in early March, when the infection led to dangerously low blood pressure.

Around the same time, a female patient, who is now deceased, did not receive care that the nurses had documented. It was discovered the records were forged when signatures indicated care had been provided at times when the patient wasn’t present in the facility.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the neglect allegations of the female patient after the patient’s daughter made a phone call regarding the care her mother was receiving. After the investigation, which was completed in April 2017, it was discovered that the female patient, as well as an additional 122 residents, were at risk for serious harm. The facility was ordered to address the problems immediately. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services fined Whetstone Gardens and Care Center $98,765.45.

The following individuals are the seven that have been indicted:

  • Sandra Blazer, 55, of Grover City, assistant director of nursing, on counts of involuntary manslaughter, patient neglect, gross patient neglect, tampering with evidence, and forgery
  • Jessica Caldwell, 30, of the Southeast Side, floor nurse and unit manager, on counts of involuntary manslaughter, patient neglect, and gross patient neglect
  • Akosua Ayarkwa, 29, of the Northeast Side, floor nurse, on counts of forgery and gross patient neglect
  • Sheila Dains, 53, of Logan, floor nurse, on counts of forgery and gross patient neglect
  • Illuminee Muhongere, 48, of the Northeast Side, a floor nurse, on counts of forgery
  • Maegan Van Syckle, 39, of Westerville, floor nurse, on counts of forgery and gross patient neglect
  • Kimberly Potter, 53, of Delaware, contacted nurse practitioner, on counts of involuntary manslaughter, patient neglect, and gross patient neglect

Four of the employees who were indicted have been fired and two others are suspended as the legal matter progresses. A spokesperson from the facility, Ryan Stubenrauch, stated several other employees who were involved with the care of the two neglected patients have also been fired.

At Thomas Law Offices, we believe all nursing home residents in Ohio deserve the best care possible to promote a high quality of life. When a negligent facility or abusive staff members place your loved one in harm’s way, we have the ability to take legal action against the wrongdoers in an attempt to seek justice for what abuse and injuries occurred. If you believe your loved one has suffered wrongfully in their nursing home, we can help you take action on their behalf. Contact us for more information.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

How To File a Life Care Centers of America Lawsuit

Finding the right nursing home, rehabilitation center, or assisted living facility for your loved one can involve weeks or months of research and visits. When you think you’ve found the right one, it can feel like a weight lifting off your shoulders. Not every nursing home is what it appears to be at first, though. […]

Read More

Nearly 2,000 Children Sexually Abused by Catholic Clergy in Illinois

Illinois Attorney General (AG) Kwame Raoul announced on May 23, 2023, that his office had completed an investigation that has identified at least 1,997 children abused by an estimated 451 male Catholic clergy during a 90-year period across six dioceses in our state. The multi-year investigation first got underway while the current Illinois AG’s predecessor […]

Read More

How Soon Should a Tetanus Shot Be Given After an Injury?

From motor vehicle accidents to slips and falls and other dangerous property scenarios, and defective product situations, these are only a few examples of personal injury incidents that can seriously hurt someone. While it may be intuitive to seek medical attention if you suspect you’ve suffered harm after one of these accidents, would you also […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion