Monday, March 17, 2008

Police Point finger at Social Services, DSS points finger at ?

South Carolina. USA by Patricia Burkett S.C. Now.Com

Mary Terry. She died in February as a result of severe malnutrition. Police say she had not been fed for at least 30 days when they found her. Two family members were in charge of her.

However, other family members have sued the State Department of Social Services, the Darlington County Department of Social Services, caretaker Lisa Gibson and social worker Ada Antoine, who were assigned to the case.

On Friday, Darlington Police arrested a social worker in the Terry case. D.S.S. employee Lisa Gibson turned herself in. Police say she checked on Terry and eventually Terry's mother, and did not report when Terry was near death. Her charge is a misdemeanor.

Police say Terry's son, Timothy Sims, and his cousin, Less Williams, were Terry's caretakers.
Authorities say the two men essentially starved her to death. Both men are charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in death. Family members Andrew Gurley and Clarence Sims filed a lawsuit in the case.

They claim in the lawsuit that several people and agencies were responsible for checking up on Terry, and failed to do so. According to the document, the Department of Social Services began taking care of Mary Terry back in 2001.

The lawsuit claims that in 2005, her son, Timothy Sims, began taking care of Terry and that case workers knew Sims had a severe drinking problem. The lawsuit states that despite that fact, D.S.S. released care of Terry to her son. The lawsuit claims that D.S.S. workers still came to care for Terry's 82-year-old mother though, and saw Terry's deteriorating condition.

It states that the stove in the home was not operational, that there were urine and human excrement stains on the floors and furniture, and even rat feces on the floor. The lawsuit also claims that in the months leading up to January 2008, Mary Terry weighed 52 pounds, and was lying in the same position for so long, that her body was covered with severe bed sores, some of which were infested with thousands of maggots.

The main thrust of the lawsuit is that the family claims D.S.S. workers had been in the home at least 11 times in the 75 days before authorities discovered Terry, and did nothing about her condition. The claims are only accusations in a document right now. The case will go to trial in civil court, where a jury will decide whether they are fact.

Darlington Police say it was the responsibility of the D.S.S. caregivers to report any neglect that they may have seen.


Olivias Mom said...

This is pure evil!!! What do we have to do to get the United States of America to wake up and listen!!!!!!

How many more elders have to die? How many are dying? Do we really know?

We have got to stop this abuse and neglect and MURDER.. When you neglect someone like this and leave them in squaller, your comitting MURDER!!

I finally started my own little blog and linked it to some of your posts. You have inspired me to keep on pushing the envelope in hopes that one day there will not be anymore elder abuse in any way shape or form.
God Bless you, God bless this BLOG!!
AJ(fighting for the elder right's)

Anonymous said...

I ran into a similar situation but I was a caregiver to a 50 year old woman who had moved in with her mother who was 82. Then she moved her kids and grandkids in and the proceeded to drain the mother's finances, ruin her home and neglect the mother. when I noticed this I quit the case but immediately contacted Adult protective services and didn't let up until the elderly woman was removed from her home and placed safely in a very nice nursing home. She was unaware of her surrounding by that time. Her family was evicted from the home. I no longer know what has happened to the daughter but she was very aware of her mistreatment of her mother and was "milking" the state for services she didn't need.