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Florida Woman Loses Nursing License after Placing Hot Sauce In Elderly Residents’ Mouths

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on March 3, 2015

If we commit a crime, there are consequences. There are legal and criminal consequences. There can also be professional consequences, and people can lose their ability to practice a profession.

That’s what happened to a 44-year-old Marion County, Florida woman. On February 15th, Tracie S. Nellis surrendered her nursing license after being convicted of elder abuse.

The incidents occurred in March of 2013 at the Williston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Williston, Florida. According to court records, Nellis was a practicing nurse at the center and was in charge of caring for elderly patients with dementia. She was accused of placing hot sauce in the mouths of elderly patients as they slept.

The state investigated the incident, and Nellis was arrested by the state Medicaid Fraud Unit in January of 2014. At the same time, Vincent Murano was also arrested. Murano was an employee at the Williston Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Both Murano and Nellis were charged with battery on a person age 65 or older, a felony, and misdemeanor battery.

A judge convicted Nellis on the charges in 2014. The charges against Murano were later dropped. Nellis was sentenced to one year of probation. According to the Florida statutes, battery is defined as when someone “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.” The person does not have to know that the person was over the age of 65 at the time of the crime.

As part of the criminal conviction, Nellis said she would voluntarily surrender her license in exchange for no disciplinary action being brought against her by the Board of Nursing. The board accepted the agreement, and the license was surrendered to the board.

According to media reports, the nursing home did not want to comment on Nellis surrendering her license or the incident.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, contact Florida nursing home abuse lawyer James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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