Nursing Home Charged with Abandoning 19 Residents

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In one of the most shocking cases of nursing home abuse to make headlines, a facility in California has been under investigation for reportedly abandoning 19 of its elderly and mentally ill residents.

Nursing home abuse lawyer Michael Jeffcoat of South Carolina is deeply disturbed by these reports and would like to urge families in Lexington, Columbia and all of Richland County to be proactive about their loved ones’ safety and care. Families can contact law enforcement officials and a lawyer if nursing home abuse is suspected.

Two unpaid employees hailed as heroes

In 2013, Valley Springs Manor was closed by the California Department of Social Services. The agency had threatened closure for months due to the failure of the nursing home to correct numerous safety and staffing violations. Reports indicated that caretakers were left unpaid, an interim supervisor abruptly disappeared, and an administrator simply walked off. Despite the disappearing staff, the facility’s 19 residents were not relocated.

The only staff members left were Miguel Alvarez, who had been hired as a janitor just three weeks earlier, and Maurice Rowland. Rowland was a cook at the facility and had recommended Alvarez, a childhood friend, for the janitor position. The two men, who had never received any type of caretaker training and were not receiving paychecks, kept the residents alive and safe for days.

“I just tried to hold on strong for them, and that’s all I could do. I wouldn’t want nobody to leave my parents or my grandparents,” said Alvarez. He and Rowland worked around the clock to keep the residents fed and clean. They had to call for ambulances multiple times. Finally, a fire captain realized there were no professional caretakers at the nursing home and paramedics began evacuating the residents.

Criminal investigation

Mary Julleah Manuel, the owner of Valley Springs Manor, has been accused of making false allegations to the Department of Social Service, violating department protocol, and many other violations. Last year, Manuel forfeited her right to defense of the accusations. The state Attorney General filed charges of fourteen counts of elder abuse. If convictions result, the felony counts could result in up to 17 years in state prison and fines of up to $6,000 per count. California legislation also contains legal protection for the elderly should any of the victims or their families wish to file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home facility and/or other potentially liable entities.

Filing a South Carolina elder abuse lawsuit

If you suspect a loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse, it’s essential to contact a lawyer right away. Families in South Carolina can contact The Jeffcoat Firm at (803) 200-2000 to schedule a free case review.

For years, Michael Jeffcoat has been a staunch advocate for the rights of elder abuse victims and their families. He works tirelessly on behalf of victims to help them obtain justice by filing a personal injury lawsuit against negligent South Carolina nursing homes and staff.

Mr. Jeffcoat represents families and victims of:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Nursing home negligence

Over the years, our law firm has recovered substantial compensation for our clients in Lexington and Richland Counties and throughout the state. We consider it a privilege to represent elderly victims and their families.

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