A woman who allegedly pushed an elderly patient who reportedly died during a row over social-distancing in a hospital in New York, has been charged with manslaughter,
According to a report by the New York Times, police charged Cassandra Lundy, 32, with manslaughter over the death of 86-year-old Janie Marshall, after a medical examiner ruled the March 28 death of Ms Marshall a homicide, the report said.
The death occurred when an 86-year-old became lost in the emergency room at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Centre in Brooklyn, police said.
Officials said Ms Marshall, who suffered with dementia, became unstable and had to grab onto a patient’s IV pole to regain her balance.
The patient, Ms Lundy, was allegedly frustrated that Ms Marshall had broken social distancing measures during the interaction and a row between the two women was said to have ensued.
Officials accused Ms Lundy of pushing Ms Marshall to the ground where she hit her head and subsequently died three hours later, the newspaper said.
While Ms Lundy was originally charged with disorderly conduct, the charges were revised after the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, the report said.
“How do you put your hands on a 86-year-old woman?” said Ms Marshall’s grandniece, Antoinette Leonard Jean Charles, 41.
“I also understand the fear level of every person in New York has. There is a notion of every man for themselves. But attacking an elderly person? That went too far.”
“We are terribly saddened by this death,” the hospital said in a statement according to the newspaper.
“We are committed to ensuring a safe, health-focused environment in these very demanding times so our heroic health care workers can continue to deliver the quality, compassionate care New Yorkers need more than ever.”
A spokesman for Brooklyn Defender Services, which is representing Ms Lundy, declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper.