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Goldsberry v. State of Delaware Department of Health & Social Services

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

October 23, 2013


Submitted: September 12, 2013

Upon Consideration of Appellant's Appeal from the Department of Health and Social Services

Kijah Goldsberry, Pro se.

Lisa Barchi, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware for Appellees.


Robert B. Young J.


Kijah Goldsberry ("Appellant") has appealed the Department of Health and Social Services' ("The Board") April 2, 2013 decision to place Appellant on the Adult Abuse Registry for a five year period, and to flag her name in the federal Certified Nursing Assistant Registry. The record created in the Appellant's hearing before the Board provides sufficient factual basis to support the Board's determination that Appellant, while acting as a nurse, abused an aged patient. Accordingly, the Board's decision is free from legal error, and is AFFIRMED.


On October 6, 2012, Resident L.C., while seated in her geri-chair, tore her adult diaper. Nurse Agnes Nthambiri ("Nthambiri") asked L.C. to return to her room. Nthambiri's testimony in the Record is that she saw nothing unusual about L.C.'s mouth at the time. According to Appellant, aide Natasha helped her to use a Hoyer lift to take L.C. back to her room. Later, she told nurse Nthambiri that L.C. was bleeding from her mouth. Appellant stood approximately 15 feet away from Nthambiri when Appellant made that statement. Nthambiri saw nothing in the Appellant's hair or on her uniform. Then, Nthambiri went to L.C.'s room, where she observed blood on the patient's lip and gown.

Nthambiri testified that Appellant said L.C. had hit herself. During the hearing on March 21, 2013, the Hearing Officer asked Appellant how she believed L.C. was injured if L.C. did not do it herself or if Appellant was not culpable. Appellant stated that she did not know. Appellant further stated that, after L.C. threw a perineal pad in Appellant's face, she left the room for 15 minutes. She alleges that, during that time, she was not aware of anyone's going into L.C.'s room. Nevertheless, after Appellant returned, she claimed to have noticed the room in disarray.

When the Board questioned L.C. about what happened, she said "Can you get her out of my room? She put her hand in my mouth." As Nthambiri cleaned up the blood and changed the patient's gown, L.C. stated several times that Appellant put her hands in L.C.'s mouth, adding that she did not want Appellant to take care of her ever again.

When questioned by Appellant, Nthambiri testified that she did not recall that L.C. was bleeding from a needle stick to her arm. She also testified that L.C. does not receive any injections. Nthambiri testified that blood was on the front of L.C.'s gown, her hand and her mouth. At 9:40 pm on October 6, 2012, L.C. was taken to the Emergency Department at Christiana Care Medical Center ("Christiana"), where she was examined in the early morning of October 7, 2012. At Christiana, forensic nurse, Angela McNulty ("McNulty"), examined L.C., taking photos of her injuries. McNulty testified that when she asked L.C. how she was injured, L.C. responded that she got into a fight with "Kijah". McNulty later testified that the injuries were likely caused by blunt force trauma.

Appellant testified that L.C. had been agitated since morning. When she saw a small piece of gauze on L.C.'s arm in the morning, she did not see any bleeding. Appellant was asked by the hospital to return L.C. to her room after lunch. Appellant testified that another certified nursing assistant went into the room with her. Then, once in the room, L.C. started throwing pieces of a soiled brief in her face. Appellant left the room, went to the nursing station, then back to the room to remove the Hoyer lift that she had left in the doorway. Appellant then came out of the room to get Nthambiri, stating that L.C. was bleeding from her mouth.

At the hearing, Appellant admitted during cross examination that she had failed to mention the care provider named "Princess", an environmental services person, or that L.C. had made false statements about staff, in either her written statement made on the day of the accident, or in her interview with the ...

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