Earlier this month, the family of a woman who was raped while a patient at a local nursing home sued the nursing home facility under the theory that it knew of the employee’s history of sexual assault and failed to take any precautions. According to one local news report, the nursing home employee was sentenced last year in a criminal court to two to 20 years’ incarceration for rape.
Evidently, it is alleged that the 22-year-old employee of the nursing home had previous instances of alleged sexual abuse in the past, and the nursing facility failed to take any action against the employee.
The nursing home complied with the police investigation for the most part and claimed that they “administer multiple screens that all employees must pass before hire, including extensive criminal and background checks, reference checks and drug screens.” However, it seems as though this employee and his questionable past may have slipped through the cracks.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse in Maryland
Nursing home abuse or negligence in Maryland nursing homes is far too common. This is mostly because residents in nursing homes have little contact with the outside world, and in some cases they have difficulty communicating, so they are at an increased risk for being made the victim of a sexual assault.
In many cases we see, the abuse comes to light not from direct testimony from the resident themselves (since it is often embarrassing to explain to loved ones what happened, even if they have the ability to do so) but from outside sources, such as video surveillance, other residents, and in some cases other nursing home employees.
Video Surveillance in Maryland Nursing Homes
Proving nursing home abuse in a Maryland court can be difficult. The use of video evidence is one of the best ways to catch a rogue employee in the act. Maryland courts have held that it is permissible for a nursing home resident or their family to put video cameras in a resident’s room, even without the permission of the management of the nursing home. The resident’s permission, however, should be obtained.
It is important to note that only video is permissible under United States Supreme Court law. If the recording includes audio, it will likely be held to have violated the privacy rights of the nursing home and its employees. If this is the case, the footage may not be admissible in court to prove the abuse.
Do You Have a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you either know or suspect that they are suffering some kind of abuse at the hands of their caregivers, you should do everything that you can to remove them from the threatening situation as soon as possible. Once they are safe, consider speaking with a dedicated nursing home abuse attorney to discuss whether you or your loved one may have a case for financial damages against the abusive employee or the nursing home that employed them. To learn more about nursing home abuse, and to speak to a skilled and compassionate attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Video Catches Employees Abusing Elderly Patients, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 5, 2014.
Alabama Nursing Home Employee Indicted for Abusing 96-Year-Old Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 23, 2014.