Family sues Illinois nursing home over video of aides taunting woman, 91, with dementia; aides charged and fired

GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Two nursing home aides in Illinois have been fired and charged after a Snapchat video showed them taunting a 91-year-old woman with dementia. Her family is now taking legal action.

Margaret Collins' family is outraged, and taking legal action. The family's lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages and alleges the nursing home, despite that video, turned a blind eye.

In the video Collins appears to be in distress, arms flailing as she pushes away a hospital gown.

"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 Tom Collins, her son.

Collins' family said the great grandmother has dementia, and was known by workers at the Abington nursing home of Glenview to dislike hospital gowns.

The video of the encounter, four days before Christmas, was posted to Snapchat with the caption "Margaret hates gowns" and two laughing face emojis.

"You're just like, this is somebody's sick idea of entertainment?" said Joan Biebel, daughter.

The family is now suing the Abington and the two nursing assistants, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa. Cortez and Montesa are also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

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

The nursing home said in a statement, "The privacy and dignity of our residents are of the utmost concern at the Abington. Recently, two employees were immediately terminated when it was determined that they violated our standards and policies."

But Collins' family said the workers remained on the job for weeks after initially being cleared by administrators.

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

A report from the Illinois Department of Public Health said the Abington failed to implement its own abuse prevention policy. Collins is no longer living there, but her family says the incident has left her with anxiety.
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