Investigate Elder Abuse & Exploitation - A Letter To Attorney General Holder On Behalf of Lula Baity
In October 2003, Lula Baity, then 86 years of age, became the victim of elder abuse and exploitation. She was forcefully and involuntarily taken from her apartment of some forty years at the Buffalo Municipal Perry Projects Housing Complex after a case worker at the complex, pretending to be Lula's social worker, falsely made allegations to Erie County Crisis Services that Ms. Baity was confused and disoriented, talking rapidly with little content, not taking care of herself, not paying rent, and refusing to see a doctor.
Over Ms. Baity’s protest, and having been forcefully and involuntarily taken from her apartment, in the presence of numerous neighbors and onlookers, a fearful and shaken Lula Baity, was strapped to a gurney and transported by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center (“ECMC”) and admitted through the emergency room with a purported diagnosis of “unable to care for herself.”
On the tenth day of her involuntary confinement, a doctor at ECMC transferred Lula to a nursing home (without court order or legal authority) where she was then confined to a locked third-floor dementia unit and forcefully administered daily doses of a psychotropic medication, Risperdal. Also, while confined at Grace Manor Nursing Home, Lula was forced to undergo physically intrusive medical procedures upon her person that were highly invasive, including, among other things, daily enemas and suppositories and the totally unnecessary and forced dental/surgical extraction of three (3) of her teeth.
Upon the efforts of Ms. Baity’s niece, Carmen Britt, and her attorney Richard L. Baumgarten, Esq., a Writ of Habeas Corpus Petition was filed in New York State Supreme Court, and on January 10, 2004, Lula won her freedom and returned to her home.
The traumatic ordeal left Ms. Baity with a diagnosed emotional Anxiety Disorder making it impossible for her to put that experience behind her and live free from continuous and constant fear of again being removed from her home in the unlawful and uncaring manner that she was.
Lula’s quest to obtain justice through the courts fell through the cracks. Delay tactics prevented the case from moving. Ms. Baity passed on May 9, 2006. There is no more truth to the old solemn that “Justice delayed, is Justice denied.” Ms. Baity did not live to have her day in court or an opportunity to tell her story to a jury of her peers.
Elder abuse is an under recognized problem with devastating and even life threatening consequences. Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions, including within the courts. It affects seniors across all socio-economic groups, cultures, and races. Based on available information, women and “older” elders are more likely to be victimized, as is shown in Lula Baity’s situation.
All are encouraged to sign the Petition in support of our elder citizens and on behalf of Lula Baity asking that Attorney General Holder conduct an investigation into the violation of Ms. Baity’s civil rights, as well as to investigate the inadequacies that exist in the current system at its most critical juncture where decisions are made and actions taken which affects a seniors liberty and right to self-determination and, there from, to establish procedural safeguards in order to prevent the injustice as has occurred here in the tragic case of Lula Baity from recurring to similarly situated elders.
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