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Blossom North nurses arraigned
Rochester, N.Y. --- Ten women, six nurses and four nursing assistants, entered not guilty pleas in Rochester City Court Friday morning. Together they face more than 270 criminal charges related to the care and treatment of a double-amputee resident at the Blossom North Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Portland Avenue.
"My family trusted these individuals, I trusted these individuals and they didn't do what they were assigned to do, said Angel Pabone, the son of the victim in this case. "I had to listen to my Dad, my Dad kept telling me certain things over and over and over and I just had to sit there and be like Ok, he wouldn't be telling me this for nothing.
Miguel Pabone, 63, passed away two weeks ago. His son Angel notified authorities more than a year ago and assisted the New York State Attorney Generals Office in conducting a hidden camera investigation in March and April 2013.
Angel Pabone was in court Friday morning to see all ten women arraigned before City Court Judge Melchor Castro. Pabone held his fathers ashes the whole time.
"I thought he should be here I really did, I thought he should be here, Angel Pabone said. "It was hard, it was very hard as the judge read off the charges it just got harder and harder at one point I just...I thought about Dad and he kind of calmed me down.
The women are accused of wilfully violating public health law as it pertained to their care of Miguel Pabone. Allegations include not providing Pabone with insulin for his diabetes, blood pressure medicine, or treatment for his glaucoma. Additional accusations claim the women did not move him regularly as his treatment wouldve required and that he did not receive assistance going to the bathroom.
"If the Attorney General's Office could figure out what was going on the owners of this facility should've known what was going on, it was obvious to this family that this man was not being cared for properly. It's just a shame that it did not come to light, said Jacqueline Thomas, a lawyer representing the Pabone family. The people that were not in the courtroom today were the people that ran this facility and ran another facility that's been shut down.
The Pabone family has not formally filed any lawsuit yet. Thomas and Pabone spoke of their suspicions that the loved ones of others were also mistreated.
"Pursue it, just if they have these gut feelings go ahead and contact the proper individuals, recommended Pabone. "It's better to find out if nothing's happening then something is happening.
All ten women are due back in court next month. The case could be presented to a Monroe County Grand Jury and authorities are not ruling out more charges.
The owners and managers of Blossom North have yet to respond to requests for comment.