The family of a 91-year-old woman in Illinois is suing a nursing home where she resided after a video posted to social media in December showed two staffers taunting her with a hospital gown.
Margaret Collins was a patient at the Abington of Glenview, located about 20 miles northwest of Chicago, when certified nursing assistant Jamie Montesa posted a video to Snapchat showing fellow certified nursing assistant Brayan Cortez teasing the 91-year-old woman, police say.
“Margaret hates gowns,” the caption on the video read next to two laughing emojis. Cortez can be seen repeatedly throwing a hospital gown on top of Collins, who has dementia, as she tries to wave it away.
Family members told WGN-TV that Abington staff knew that Collins doesn’t like hospital gowns and prefers to wear her own clothes.
“If they were in her room, they should have been there for a reason ― to help her, assist her ― not to exploit her and threaten her and demean her and post it on social media,” Collins’ daughter, Joan Biebel, told the outlet.
Montesa and Cortez were initially allowed to return to the Abington after a six-day suspension, but were later fired after the nursing home determined they violated its standards and policies.
“The privacy and dignity of our residents are of the utmost concern,” the Abington said in a statement.
Police said Montesa admitted to previously recording a video of Collins in a wheelchair.
Collins’ family is reportedly suing the nursing home, its parent company and the two former employees for more than $1 million in damages. They say Collins, whom they have removed from the Abington, has suffered from anxiety as a result of the incident and that her privacy was violated.
“This was a sick game the two CNAs decided to play for their own enjoyment,” attorney John Perconti, who is representing Collins’ family in the lawsuit, told WGN-TV. “By filing this lawsuit and pursuing this lawsuit, we will prevent this from happening to other individuals in this facility as well as other facilities.”