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Nursing Home Staff Members Facing Charges for Allegedly Encouraging Dementia Patients to Fight

 Posted on October 16, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysIf you have not seen the 1999 film Fight Club, you have probably at least heard about the rules of Fight Club. According to the movie, “The first rule of Fight Club is, ‘You do not talk about Fight Club.’ The second rule of Fight Club is, ‘YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB.’” In the film, the Fight Club in question was a brutal, underground association of men from all walks of life who voluntarily engaged in semi-organized physical fights with one another as a violent form of cathartic release.


Today, two decades later, people still reference the movie and the idea of a fight club, but it is rarely discussed as a real thing. For elderly residents of a North Carolina assisted-living facility, however, the idea of a type of fight club was all too real, according to horrifying reports. Three staff members are currently facing criminal charges for encouraging dementia patients at the home to fight one another and posting the videos of the fights on social media.

Shocking Allegations

In June, Winston-Salem police received a report of elder abuse occurring at a nearby skilled nursing facility. The report indicated that workers were allegedly allowing residents to fight each other. The department’s Criminal Investigations Division began an investigation, as did the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The investigation led authorities to conclude that three female staffers were not only allowing residents to fight one another but also encouraging the altercations. One of the staffers also reportedly shoved one of the residents in a separate incident. All of the residents involved are in their 70s and live in the home’s “special care unit”—a part of the home dedicated to the care of dementia patients.

In at least one incident, the staffers recorded video of a fight between patients. On the video, officials say that the employees can be heard encouraging one of the patients to “punch her in the face.” Another staffer can allegedly be heard asking to have the video of the fight sent to her later.

Fortunately, the police said that none of the patients suffered injuries.

Serious Repercussions

Following the investigation in June, all three staffers were fired. Each of the former employees was subsequently arrested on charges of assaulting an individual with a disability. According to the criminal complaints, the women are accused of not doing anything to stop the fight between the residents and failing to report the incident. The woman accused of pushing a resident is facing additional charges for that incident as well.

Reports indicate that the home was also suspended from accepting new residents by the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials for the facility responded to the allegations with a pledge to cooperate with law enforcement and a re-statement of a “zero-tolerance policy for the mistreatment of those in our care.” A facility spokesperson also pointed out that the investigation was related to a single incident of residents fighting, not an ongoing “fight club.”  

Call a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Attorney

If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, it is understandable that you might be worried about the behavior of staff members. For more information about protecting your loved one or about taking legal action in the event of an injury, contact an experienced Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation with Schwartz Injury Law today.



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