The caregiver has taken approximately $7500 of my mother's money over a 10 month period. How can I file a lawsuit?


I found my 95 year old mother subjected to a bedbug infested house. I have called the Local Sheriff department to report the theft. The Caregiver not only left my Mom in a bedbug infested house, but she broke HIPPA laws. The Caregiver was sought through a Elder Care business who charged her $22,000 and paid the Caregiver. I have not heard back from the Sheriff's department and would like to know how I can file a lawsuit against the business who sent the Caregiver. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

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Belkins, thanks for the additional info.

Some quick thoughts:

1. Are you proxy under your mother's POA or DPOA? If so, I'd close out the account from which the caregiver's husband was writing checks and notify the bank of the fraud.

2. Put fraud alerts on your mother's credit reports. If you need phone numbers and info on how to do this, just post back.

3. Where are the caregiver and her husband now? Have they skipped town, or do you have a local address for them?

4. I'm glad your mother is in AL now; she'll be much safer. If you have any photo IDs of the caregiver and her husband, I would share them with the AL staff and find out how to keep them from being admitted, should they decide to try to continue their scam.

5. Talk to the Sheriff or local PD about getting a restraining order against the couple.

6. Since your mother has dementia, do make sure to verify everything she's said. That's not to suggest she's not truthful, but just to ensure that the situation is as she says it was. The stress of living in a bedbug filled house for months could easily heighten her level of confusion. However, the checks would be proof of the embezzlement and copies can be provided to law enforcement.

7. What does the agency say about all this? Although if it charged exorbitantly for the contracted work, it should have done background checks. I have a feeling this couple isn't new to this line of "work".
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My mother signed the contract and the $22, 435 was for 12 months with the Caregiver going 2 days a week for 4 hours each day in her home. Then in May moved it up to 3 days a week for 4 hours a day. Billed monthly.The company states not to pay the Caregiver directly. However, when I started reviewing her checking account and the cancelled checks it would note groceries. I don't know of any 95 year old who can eat that much food. The $7,500 was in addition to the $22,000. The woman who was the Caregiver brought her husband into the house and some of the checks are made out to him. I'm getting a copy of the contract to look at the clauses. The Caregiver told neighbors would probably be going to Assisted Living and told them of the bedbugs. Another note, after I moved her to Assisted Living, the husband of the Caregiver was seen at her house trying to get in to the house. He knew he was seen and left. Locks have been changed and an alarm system installed. The County Sheriff is investigating the $7,500. Mom has dementia and when I asked about it she said she was scared and didn't know what to do. I will get the contract and post more.
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I am now legally responsible for her. Unfortunately I live in Texas and she is in Indiana.
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I received a call from the Caregiver that my mother was complaining of bugs. When the Orkin man arrived he called me to tell me the house was infested. I immediately went up there to get my Mom out of her house. The Orkin man said it looked as though the bedbugs have been there for about 6-7 months. Part of the agreement for the Caregiver was to do her laundry and change linens. She had to know something as the mattress had a zip on protective covering.
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Let's see if I can think of all the charges...

1. Presumably there was a contract executed which provided certain services, including professional care, and establishing certain levels of compensation. $22K is an exorbitantly ridiculous amount though, even if the contract was for a longer period of time. And on that level, what period of time did this cover? What services were specified? Was the full $22K actually paid up front?

And, very importantly, who signed this contract?

I suspect there are likely some breach of contract provisions and actual breaches, so you might have a contractual foundation for a suit.

2. The bedbug infestation is horrifying, but you'll have to have more detail on whether it existed before this caregiver began providing "services". If the caregiver was aware of it, however, and did nothing, then look to the contract to see if this kind of catastrophic clause is included and if there are provisions for notifications.

3. $7500 over a 10 month period is $750 per month, which might or might not be reasonable depending on what level of services were subject to contractual provisions. Was this a 24/7 care situation? If so, $750 a month is low. More details need to be fleshed out on this aspect.

4. Your profile states that you're caring for someone in AL. How does this relate to the home in which your mother lived, or did this caregiving take place in the AL facility? If the latter, was the AL aware of the bedbugs? Was the whole place infested? Again, more detail is needed.

5. WHO signed the caregiver contract? Was it you? Was anyone monitoring care for your mother? How long had the bedbug and $750/month situation been in existence before you found out about it?

6. How specifically were HIPAA laws broken? To which unauthorized entity was privileged information supplied?

7. Was the $7500 part of the total $22K? Or was it out and out theft? If so, what documentation/proof do you have?

There are a lot of egregious issues in this situation, but it would help if you could supply more detail. If you want to sue the agency for fraud or contractual breach, that's a transactional law issue. If you want to sue for alleged theft of the $7500, that's a criminal issue to be handled by the police.

More information would really help.
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I'd consult with an attorney. She may have legal rights that were violated and damages. I'd document what has happened and seek legal advice. There could be criminal charges, but the Sheriff would handle that after an investigation.

Who is legally responsible for your mom?
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Belkins, who's house was this? And how did you find out about the money theft. More information would be appreciated.
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