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County legislators adopt Ruthie's Law to protect injured nursing home residents

Ruth Murray, 82, was fatally beaten.

The Erie County Legislature unanimously passed a law Thursday that would require nursing homes to inform a designated loved one or guardian within an hour of a nursing home resident suffering an injury requiring hospital treatment.

The local law would also give the county's commissioner of senior services the ability to subpoena and review nursing home injury reports to ensure compliance.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz named the family notification measure "Ruthie's Law" in memory of Ruth Murray, a nursing home resident who was killed last year. Murray's family was initially kept in the dark about the attack on Murray and later told she suffered "minor cuts, lacerations and bruises." Murray died of her injuries.

After the vote, Poloncarz thanked the Legislature for passing a law that protects seniors. Poloncarz will hold another public hearing on the law, which he is expected to sign.

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