In cases where a Maryland nursing home resident has been the victim of abuse or neglect, victims may be able to file a lawsuit against the facility for the negligent hiring of the abuser. The facility may be liable for negligently hiring a staff member or an independent contractor in some circumstances.
In a Maryland negligent hiring claim, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, that the defendant breached that duty, that the defendant’s breach caused the harm suffered, and that the plaintiff suffered damages. More specifically, in a negligent hiring claim, to show causation, the plaintiff must establish that the employer’s failure to undertake a reasonable inquiry resulted in the hiring of the employee or contractor and that the defendant’s hiring was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. This means that the quality that makes the employee or contractor incompetent or unfit must be the cause of the plaintiff’s harm.
What Are a Nursing Home's Obligations to Provide Safe Staff Members?
In general, an employer has a duty to exercise reasonable care in selecting an employee or contractor that is competent and suitable for the work assigned to them. The defendant’s duty to do so is extended to people who one would reasonably expect to come into contact with the employee or contractor. For example, a nursing home might be liable for negligent hiring if the facility fails to do a background check that would have revealed that an applicant had criminal convictions for sexual abuse if the applicant then goes on to sexually abuse a resident. The same might be true for an applicant with a history of theft if the applicant would have un-monitored access to residents’ belongings. Unfortunately, circumstances such as these do occur. One case recently settled after a disabled resident was sexually abused by a staff member.
Nursing Home Lawsuit Alleging Negligent Hiring After Sexual Abuse of Resident Settles for $8 Million
According to a recent report, a nursing home’s insurer paid $8 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of a resident who was sexually abused at the facility. The lawsuit, filed in 2019, alleges that the nursing home negligently hired a sexual predator and failed to properly supervise and monitor the resident’s care. According to the resident’s attorney, the nursing home allowed a male staff member to clean the genitalia of disabled females alone. The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home failed to provide care to vulnerable residents in a safe environment, including failure to exercise reasonable care in hiring, retaining, and supervising employees. The state fined the nursing home $3,000 for failing to ensure that a resident remained free from sexual abuse.
Contact the Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen
The Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have provided legal representation to clients throughout the Maryland and Washington, D.C. regions for the last 20 years. We have the tenacity and resources to pursue all of the parties responsible for causing your harm or loss. We understand the struggles that you are facing, and we aim to reduce the stress on you as much as possible so that you can get your life back on track. To set up a free consultation call us at (800) 654-1949 or fill out our online form.