Can a Maryland Nursing Home Be Liable for Resident-on-Resident Abuse?

One form of Maryland nursing home abuse that has recently begun to get a significant amount of attention is resident-on-resident abuse. The physical and mental conditions of residents at the time they are admitted into a nursing home vary. Because of this, some residents are better able to care for themselves, and they may seem to need less attention or supervision. Of course, there are also many residents who are incapable of self-care and require the near-constant assistance of nursing home staff members.

It is in this environment that resident-on-resident abuse is common. In fact, some experts estimate that one in five nursing home residents are victims of resident-on-resident abuse. This figure may be an underestimate because many victims of nursing home abuse are unable to report what they have endured, or choose not to report their abuse due to embarrassment or out of fear of not being believed.

Nursing homes have a duty to provide for the safety of residents, including protecting them from a threat of harm from another resident. When resident-on-resident abuse is reported, it must be taken seriously by nursing home administration. The alleged offender should immediately be separated from other residents, and the nursing home should contact the police. However, too often, nursing home staff members attempt to handle these matters internally, perhaps because they are skeptical of the accusations or they do not want the allegations to be made public. In such instances, it is not uncommon for the offending resident to continue to engage in abusive behavior. Depending on the situation, nursing homes may be liable for a resident’s injuries, even if the facility reports the abuse promptly.

Resident Charged with Abuse of Fellow Resident in Washington, D.C. Suburb

In May 2019, a resident in an Annandale nursing home was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery after the 55-year-old man was reported to have sexually assaulted another resident. According to a local news report, the victim of the assault suffered from “mental incapacity or physical helplessness.” It is unclear when the abuse was alleged to have occurred, but nursing home staff members called in to report the abuse on a Sunday, May 26. Police opened an investigation, and a few days later on May 29, they came to arrest the resident, who is currently being held without bail.

Is Your Loved One at Risk?

If you have a family member in a nursing home, and you have reason to believe that they may be a victim of abuse or neglect, contact the dedicated Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have a proud history of standing up for the rights of victims across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are a compassionate team of attorneys who dedicate ourselves to ensuring that nursing home residents are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim against a negligent Maryland nursing home, call 410-654-3600 or contact us online today.

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