LIVONIA, Michigan — The family of an elderly Lebanese man is suing a Michigan nursing home over violent abuse caught on a hidden camera. A nursing home employee is seen physically abusing the man and using racist insults. The hidden camera documented over 100 incidents of cruel behavior by employees.
Hussein Younes, 89, was a patient at Autumnwood of Livonia nursing home in 2015 after surgery for a bowel obstruction.
His son, Salim Younes, grew concerned after noticing his father had severe weight loss, bruises and cuts. The nursing home had trouble explaining the injuries and tried to say Younes had fallen multiple times.
Salim Younes was suspicious, so he bought an alarm clock with a hidden camera and set it up next to his father's bed.
He did not expect the level of depravity of the abuse his father was suffering. When he saw the footage, he removed his father from the nursing home and called lawyer Jonathan Marko.
“They blamed his injuries on him falling 11 times over a five-month period,” Marko said, adding that the abuse may have been racially motivated. “He’s an elderly Lebanese gentleman who was born and grew up in Lebanon,” Marko said. “He’s an Arab-American, and because of that, he was targeted as this nursing home and horribly abused.”
The lawsuit alleges caretakers physically abused and hurled ethnic slurs at Younes, denied him water, took away his call button and slammed him into the wall while in a wheelchair.
The nursing home responded with a vague statement neither admitting nor denying the abuse. “The actions depicted in the video are in no way illustrative of the quality care that is provided by the caring staff at Autumnwood on a daily basis,” the company said in a written statement.
The trial is set for June 2018.