A criminal case against a former nursing home worker in the death of a resident will hinge on whether a video recorded in the senior’s room without the facility’s permission is legal and can be used against her.
The Georgia Supreme Court oral arguments on Tuesday in the appeals case against Wanda Nuckles, a former licensed practical nurse, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported.
The case centers around the 2014 death of an 89-year-old resident at the Northeast Atlanta Health & Rehabilitation Center. The resident allowed his son to place a hidden video camera in his room after complaining about his treatment at the facility.
The video allegedly shows the resident calling for help after not being able to breathe and the workers failing to respond. The resident died soon after. Two other workers also face criminal charges.
Nuckles has appealed previous rulings that allow the prosecution to use the video.Legal representation for Nuckles has argued that the decision to use the secret video against the workers could set a bad precedent in the state and allow people to make videos of others, in any setting, without their consent.
The Georgia Health Care Association, while calling the actions in the video “appalling,” argued that allowing the video to be used in the case could create “an environment of eavesdropping in all facets of health care and other aspects of our daily lives.”
The prosecution has argued that the footage is crucial for the case and said it would not have been able to charge the workers without it. It has also argued that state law allows the secret video to be used. Lower courts previously sided with the prosecution.