When someone sends a family member to live in a Maryland nursing home, they trust that the facility and individual staff members will keep their loved one safe. However, incidents of assault in nursing homes contribute to a significant portion of claims of nursing home abuse in Maryland, and staff members who cause these harms should be held accountable for their actions. Maryland caregivers who work closely with seniors should never exploit their position or access to residents for personal reasons.
According to a recent news report, a former nursing assistant was sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to abusing seniors in a nursing home. The investigation revealed that the staff member had inappropriately touched several residents in an assisted living center, and was facing multiple charges, including second-degree rape of a frail, elderly, or vulnerable individual, and two counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation.
Although officials believe that there were likely other victims in the nursing home, the perpetrator was only charged with the assault of four seniors because the others had either passed away or were no longer able to provide statements, due to their age and condition. In addition to prison time, the staff member was fired from his job and had his nursing assistant license revoked. He will also serve 18 months of community custody, will be required to obtain a sexual deviancy evaluation, and is barred from having any contact from individuals in similar care facilities or nursing homes.
Residents in Maryland nursing homes should be able to fully place their trust in the safety of the facility where they reside. This means that caregivers should be held to strict safety policies and procedures in place at the facility, but should also be thoroughly trained and screened before working with residents. Although a nursing home cannot guarantee the safety of all of its residents, incidents of abuse are avoidable if facilities are proactive, vigilant, and enact proper policies to protect residents from sexual assault.
Unfortunately, Maryland is no stranger to elder abuse. In 2014, state administrative offices in charge of handling reports of abuse received approximately 7,400 reports. However, Maryland law has strict penalties in place for those who are convicted of harming the elderly, especially when there is specific intent to harm a resident. Seniors or vulnerable adults don’t simply lose their rights as they age, and nursing home facilities need to be proactive in recognizing warning signs of exploitation or abuse to protect residents.
Call a Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer
If you have a family member or loved one in a Maryland nursing home who has been abused at the hands of other residents or staff, contact a Maryland nursing home lawyer. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, our compassionate nursing home attorneys will advocate tirelessly for the rights of victims of nursing home abuse and hold these perpetrators accountable. Our lawyers will go over your claim, evaluate your options, and be there to support you through each step of the legal process. Our talented team is committed to taking the time to understand your situation and formulate a plan tailored to meet your unique needs. Set up a free consultation today by calling 800-654-1949.