In Defense of Granting Patients’ Requests
Howard Fensterman is defending the East Neck Nursing Center in West Babylon, NY, in a lawsuit brought against the center by a resident relating to a male exotic dancing performance. The son of one of the facility’s residents is suing the nursing home after he looked in his mother’s dresser drawer and found a photograph of his 85-year-old mother, Bernice Youngblood, putting money into the dancer’s pants.
The male exotic dancer was hired after the activities committee, made up of 16 residents of the center, unanimously voted to have the performance. The lawsuit claims the staff arranged the event for their own amusement, but that is not the case, according to East Neck and Mr. Fensterman. The residents voted to utilize part of their entertainment budget for the performance and the nursing home paid the $250 fee to have the dancer perform.
The event, which took place September 2012, was optional, and none of the resident patients were required to attend. According to the nursing home and Mr. Fensterman, it was Mrs. Youngblood’s son’s live-in girlfriend who brought the 85-year-old from her room to attend the event. The patient’s son claimed his mother was forced to tip the dancer using her own money, which should have been locked away. However, it is clear from the photograph being circulated that Mrs. Youngblood’s son’s live-in girlfriend was sitting next to Mrs. Youngblood during the performance.
According to the lawsuit, the family is seeking $10 million in punitive damages and an unspecified amount for the patient’s emotional distress. At a recent press conference, though, Mrs. Youngblood, who currently suffers from partial dementia, admitted she did not remember the details of the event.
No other complaints have been made by residents of the nursing home.