The family of H. R. McMaster Sr., the father of President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, has filed a lawsuit against Cathedral Village in Philadelphia alleging the senior living facility was negligent in the care of McMaster, which led to his wrongful death.
Nurse Christann Gainey was also charged in the incident with neglect of a care-dependent person, involuntary manslaughter, and tampering with records related to McMaster’s death. She was held for trial after waiving her preliminary hearing.
McMaster, a resident at Cathedral Village, allegedly suffered a fall on April 13. Gainey is charged with failing to administer eight required neurological checks to gauge the severity of his injuries. Had she administered those checks, McMaster’s life could have been saved, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement.
“When a family selects a senior living facility, they do not expect their loved one to be found dead in the lobby of a place that was supposed to be caring for him,” Shapiro said in the statement. “This nurse ignored her job responsibilities, falsified paperwork, lied to her supervisors, and neglected Mr. McMaster, who died. We’re holding her accountable and today, the court ordered the nurse held for trial on all charges.”
Nursing home abuse and neglect occurs too often. According to a report in the New York Times, nearly 6,500 nursing homes were cited at least once for serious safety violations since 2013, two-thirds of which have been fined by Medicare. These violations put the lives of elderly or fragile patients at risk.
Despite these statistics, the Trump administration in late 2017 announced it was rolling back fines against nursing homes accused of abusing or neglecting patients. The administration also pushed against new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidelines for nursing homes seeking reimbursement for patient care that would require them to stop forcing new residents to sign arbitration agreements. This would allow patients and their families to sue nursing hones that engaged in elder abuse, neglect or wrongful death.