A decorated World War II veteran died gasping for breath while staff at his nursing home laughed in front of him, according to hidden camera video revealed in a lawsuit against the facility.
James Dempsey, 89, of Woodstock, Ga., called for help six times Feb. 27, 2014, before becoming unconscious while gasping for air, according to the video, released to WXIA-TV after lawyers representing Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation were unsuccessful in asking a DeKalb County judge to keep the material sealed.
Dempsey’s survivors include two sons and two grandchildren. Family members had installed the camera in Dempsey’s room before his death, and because of nursing home officials’ actions after his death, it is clear that his family would not have known what happened without their own surveillance.
The nursing home’s lawyers attempted, then withdrew, an appeal to the Georgia State Supreme Court to keep the video under wraps.
Georgia state records show nursing home staff found Dempsey unresponsive at 5:28 a.m. ET. Staff took almost an hour before calling 911 at 6:25 a.m.
In a video deposition included in the lawsuit records, former nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles told the family’s lawyer, Mike Prieto, how she rushed to Dempsey’s room when a nurse alerted her that Dempsey had stopped breathing. As she was questioned, she did not know about the camera that had recorded her actions.
Prieto: “From the time you came in, you took over doing chest compressions,…