Are Nanny Cams Legal to Document Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Florida?
Modesta Alvarado was a paralyzed and terminally ill resident at Harborage Nursing Home. According to Chris Harris at Northjersey.com, one January night she was woken from her sleep to an open hand slap to the top of her head. The helpless resident could do nothing but open her mouth and eyes wide while she endured two more blows to her head from her caregiver, Julia C. Galvan (pictured). Alvarado died without disclosing the events. The only reason the events were discovered is because the family had installed a hidden nanny cam in the room after the family found unexplainable bruises on her body. The video apparently shows the battery occurring.
Police Lt. Frank Canella stated:
“As cops, we’ve seen a lot of things… this was very disturbing. This woman lies in a bed, defenseless. She was unable to defend herself. There are reactions she makes with her face and her mouth and her eyes in response to the blows. It was difficult for me to watch. The video was shocking,”
This story shows why a nanny cam is useful to document nursing home abuse and neglect that would otherwise be impossible to prove. There has been some concern in the past in Florida over whether a nanny cam is legal. The reason is that it is a crime in Florida to record someone’s voice without their consent. However, in Minotty v. Baudo, 42 So.3d 824 (Fla. 4 th DCA 2010) an appellate court recently concluded that it is legal to video tape someone without their consent as long as the video does not record the persons voice. The court even commented that nanny cams were a proper way to catch wrongdoers. Of course the law is subject to change at any time. However, at least as of this writing it appears that in Florida it is legal to use a nanny cam.
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