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Wrongful Death Complaint Filed in Hudson County


For Immediate Release


Attorneys Michael Ringold and Eugene Horn represent family of deceased 87-year-old victim

JERSEY CITY, NJ (June 22, 2011) - A wrongful death complaint resulting from the death of Modesta Alvarado-Vega, 87, a former resident of the Harborage Nursing Home in North Bergen, has been filed in New Jersey Superior Court, Hudson County, attorneys for her surviving family members announced today.

The complaint names as defendants Mrs. Alvarado-Vega's former aide Julia Galvan, the facility, its owners and affiliates (including New York-Presbyterian Medical Center), and managers. The alleged abuse of Mrs. Alvarado-Vega, who at the time of her death on January 16, 2011, was partially paralyzed and suffered from Alzheimer's disease, was captured on videotape by a "granny cam" placed in her room by relatives who suspected the woman was the subject of physical abuse, said attorneys Michael Ringold, Esq., and Eugene Horn, Esq. They said the complaint details how the alleged abuse she suffered at the Harborage constituted a violation of her fundamental rights as a citizen, a resident of the nursing facility, and supports the claim for punitive damages. Mrs. Alvarado-Vega was a former resident of Hudson County.

Besides Julia Galvan, (who is also charged criminally) the defendants include Palisades Medical Center, the facility's parent corporation and subsidiary of New York Presbyterian Medical Center. According to the complaint, Galvan was seen on a replay of the "granny cam" removing the victim's oxygen mask and negligently, carelessly, recklessly and intentionally striking her while employed by the Harborage nursing home.

"As a direct and proximate result of the defendants' actions and omissions, individually and collectively, Modesta Alvarado-Vega suffered a premature and untimely death," according to the Complaint, which asserts that a host of staff and officials at the Harborage (7600 River Road, North Bergen) were negligent in failing to safeguard the health and welfare of the elderly, defenseless woman. It is also alleged that they collectively violated state and federal regulations by failing to report and properly follow up on the family's allegations of suspected abuse.

Attorney Ringold, following the filing, stated, "The abuse in this case was very real, as was the corporate neglect that was displayed by the defendants. This lawsuit is intended to obtain justice in the name of Mrs. Alvarado-Vega, and to help ensure that such repulsive conduct is not repeated anywhere in our state. Co-counsel Eugene Horn added, "Our investigation, which led to the filing, is persuasive in demonstrating that the facility, in every manner, failed to live up to its legal responsibility as a trusted care provider. The victim's family thought their loving mother was in the best of hands when, in fact, she was in peril. Tragically, it was only because of their hidden camera that they are able to forcefully demonstrate the extent of the misconduct."


Michael Ringold / 856.489.1515


Eugene Horn / 201- 659-5300



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