Sexual Abuse alleged against Nursing Home
by Jeffrey J. Downey, Esq
A recent lawsuit filed against Harbor Health and Rehab alleges that a 96-year-old demented resident was subject to sexual abuse by a male resident, explains Virginia Nursing home attorney Jeffrey Downey.
Resident on resident abuse is a recurring issue, especially in dementia wards where residents may be mentally incapacitated. In the Harbor Health case another resident was observed fondling a 96 year old woman who was demented. The matter was reported to the police, as the person who committed sexual abuse was a registered sex offender.
Ironically, while nursing home employees routinely undergo criminal background checks, most facilities do not put their residents through such checks during the admissions process. The better facilities, especially in dementia wards, will make inquiries about a resident’s prior criminal history. Even after the alleged sexual abuse, the nursing home has allegedly failed to take action to remove the resident. That may be due to the fact that they are waiting to see the results of any investigation.
Once a facility is on notice that another resident is violent or sexually abusive, that nursing home or assisted living facility can be held legally liable for what that resident does next. While the demented resident may not get prosecuted for a crime due to his dementia, that does not mean the nursing home is off the hook for civil liability.
Often sexual abuse or other acts of aggression are never reported, either because they are not witnessed at the time or because the facility decided not to report the incident. Healthcare providers are also mandatory reports when it comes to physical, mental or sexual abuse, explains Fairfax Nursing home attorney Jeffrey Downey. The failure to report such an incident can also expose the nursing home to liability further down the road.
If you or a loved one has been subject to abuse or neglect in a long term care facility, call the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, for a free consultation.
Contact the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey today for a free consultation. You pay no attorney’s fees unless there is a successful recovery.
We handle Abuse cases in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C.
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McLean, VA 22102