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Tarrytown Nurse Aides Charged In Patient's Death

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Two nurse aides at the Tarrytown Hall Care Center caused the death of an elderly woman by failing to provide adequate care and then took steps to conceal that death, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday.

Maureen Flowers, 53 of the Bronx, is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person, a felony. Donna Pagan, 35 of Peekskill, is charged with first-degree falsifying business records, a felony.

“This is a sad and disturbing case of a nurse’s aide who, by ignoring both the rules of the home where she worked and her training, caused the death of one of our most vulnerable citizens,” Schneiderman said in a news release. “While most nursing home employees work tirelessly to ensure a safe environment for those in need, my office will aggressively pursue those who place seniors in harm’s way and then enlist others to cover up their crimes.”

Flowers had been assigned the care of an 86-year-old patient at the center who suffered from debilitating physical ailments that prohibited her from walking, Schneiderman's office said. Two people and a mechanical lift were required to move her from her bed to a wheelchair, but officials say on Feb. 15, Flowers attempted to move the patient by herself with the lift.

The elderly woman fell to the floor during the transfer and suffered spinal fractures, a leg fracture, a broken nose and a bleeding face, the attorney general's office said. Flowers then left the patient on the flood and sought out Pagan, asking her to say she had been the second person helping with the lift, officials said.

The elderly patient died two hours later at Westchester Medical Center. Flowers and Pagan said they had both been present at the transfer in interviews and statements with the care center staff, officials said.

Flowers faces up to seven years in state prison if convicted. Pagan faces up to four years in state prison if convicted. Both women will be arraigned in Tarrytown Village Court.

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