Former nursing home employee convicted of elder abuse never had background check

Joseph Anthony Garcia, 35, was sentenced to 18 months in jail for committing elder abuse at the Las Cruces Nursing Home where he worked. According to a report in the Las Cruces Sun-News, Garcia beat a 76-year-old man in the head, chest, stomach and back while he helped him get ready for bed.

Judge Lisa Schultz also added four years to Garcia’s sentence because he had two previous convictions, one for breaking and entering and one for cocaine trafficking.

The really chilling part of this whole story was that the nursing home did not perform a background check on Garcia before they hired him.

Last November, the voters of Washington State overwhelmingly passed Initiative 1029 which requires that all long-term care workers complete training, pass a certification exam and undergo a federal background check for prior criminal records. It seems that in this Las Cruces case, the nursing home was guilty of negligence in not screening Garcia properly before allowing him to work with vulnerable adults.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are a personal injury law firm with more than 30 years experience representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and their families.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.