Family sues over video of nursing home workers taunting 91-year-old woman with dementia

GLENVIEW, Ill. (WLS/CNN) - An Illinois family is suing a nursing home and two aides, who were fired and charged after a Snapchat video allegedly showed them using a hospital gown to tease a 91-year-old patient.

The family of 91-year-old Margaret Collins, a great-grandmother who has dementia, is suing the Abington nursing home of Glenview, Ill., for more than $1 million in damages. The lawsuit alleges the nursing home turned a blind eye to a video reportedly showing two workers taunting the woman.

Margaret Collins, a 91-year-old great-grandmother who has dementia, has been left with anxiety following the incident, her family says.
Margaret Collins, a 91-year-old great-grandmother who has dementia, has been left with anxiety following the incident, her family says. (Source: Collins Family/WLS/CNN)

In the video, Margaret Collins appears to be in distress, her arms flailing as she pushes away a hospital gown. The 91-year-old was known by workers at the nursing home to dislike hospital gowns.

"She's waving her arms because of one reason: she doesn't have mobility to get away. That's the only option she has to protect herself,” said Margaret Collins’ son Tom Collins.

The video was reportedly posted to Snapchat just before Christmas with the caption “Margaret hates gowns” and two laughing face emojis.

"You're just like, ‘This is somebody's sick idea of entertainment?’” said Margaret Collins’ daughter Joan Biebel.

Two nursing assistants, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct by Glenview Police in relation to the video.

"Margaret's privacy was clearly violated. They had no right to have cell phones in there,” said the family’s attorney, John Perconti.

The Abington said in a statement that “the privacy and dignity of our residents are of the utmost concern.”

Two nursing assistants, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were fired and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct in relation to the video.
Two nursing assistants, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were fired and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct in relation to the video. (Source: WLS/CNN)

It added Cortez and Montesa were immediately fired after “it was determined that they violated our standards and policies.”

But Margaret Collins’ family alleges the two workers remained on the job for weeks, after they were initially cleared by administrators.

"They violate her safety, her privacy, and then, they do a slow walk to correct the behavior?" Tom Collins said

Margaret Collins no longer lives at the Abington. Her family says the incident left her with anxiety.

A report from the Illinois Department of Public Health said the Abington failed to implement its own abuse prevention policy.

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