The Buffalo News reported that Ruthie’s Law became law. The new law requires that all nursing homes in Erie County contact designated loved ones within two hours and provide “all known information” if a resident suffers serious injuries requiring outside treatment. Ruthie’s Law also requires nursing homes to give prospective nursing home patients and their families a copy of the nursing home’s performance rating and to provide a summary of incident reports to the county’s Department of Senior Services twice a year.
This law was a result of the assault and injuries sustained by Ruth Murray. Ruth was found by her family with deep purple bruises blooming all over her mother’s body, gashes across her temple and nose, and blood trickling down her neck.
Ruth suffered from dementia and had a known history of wandering including into another nursing home resident’s room. That resident, apparently thinking Murray was an intruder, beat her so severely that she ended up at Erie County Medical Center in critical condition with broken bones and a collapsed lung.
The graphic photos Kuszniaj took showed her mother black, blue and bloody. Her neck, nose and jaw were broken. So were 11 of her ribs and the bones on the right side of her face. Her lung had collapsed and had to be reinflated twice. Three days later, her mother died.