Sexual abuse in nursing homes is a widespread issue that is often ignored, in part because admitting and addressing the problem can be extremely uncomfortable to the public. Recent reports out of Iowa demonstrate the breadth of this problem, as well as the difficulty in relying on nursing home staff to prevent or stop apparent abuse. A local news report discussing the controversy discussed how the alleged perpetrator, known as “Captain McFeelypants” among staff members, was able to continue abusing residents while other staff were suspicious of his behaviors.
According to the local news report, the nursing home at issue has faced scrutiny due to numerous violations, including its failure to protect residents from sexual abuse. The alleged perpetrator, a male resident with a history of inappropriate behavior, was discovered on several occasions over the course of one year engaging in sexual misconduct with other residents.
Initially, The director of nursing found the suspected abuser groping and kissing a female resident in her room. Although it’s unclear whether the encounter was consensual, the male resident was educated on the importance of consent. On several other occasions, the same resident was caught attempting to engage in inappropriate conduct with another resident. Ultimately, A nurse aide walked in on the male resident atop a female resident, engaging in sexual activity. The female resident, who had severe cognitive impairments, reported feeling violated.
What’s particularly alarming is the facility’s failure to promptly report these incidents to the authorities and investigate them properly. The director of nursing did not inform the State Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing about the initial incident, demonstrating a significant lapse in following regulatory procedures. As a result of these violations, the state has proposed a substantial fine of $28,500. However, this fine is pending review by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which may impose an additional federal penalty.
The particular nursing home at issue has a history of regulatory violations, with previous fines totaling over $129,000 in March 2021. The facility currently holds a one-star rating from CMS for staffing levels and overall quality. The home is owned by a for-profit company operating multiple nursing homes across several states. Despite the facility’s history of violations, there has been no response from the company’s leadership regarding the recent incident.
How Can You Hold Abusive Nursing Home Staff Members Accountable?
In cases of nursing home abuse in Maryland, legal action is crucial to holding facilities accountable for their failures in protecting residents. Nursing home abuse attorneys play a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of victims and their families. They can help victims seek justice, compensation, and improved safety measures within the facility.
Addressing Suspected Nursing Home Abuse In Maryland
Maryland nursing homes often fail to protect their residents from sexual or physical abuse. The for-profit nature of the nursing home industry in the state tends to incentivize companies to only address instances of abuse as they become publically known and apparent. Many nursing homes wil take shortcuts to cut costs and make their jobs easier. If you’re concerned about sexual or other abuse or neglect, reach out to an experienced elder abuse attorney at Lebowitz and Mzhen to discuss your case. Our qualified nursing home abuse attorneys take pride in our work to protect and vindicate victims of abuse and neglect. We specialize in Maryland nursing home abuse and other tort cases in Prince George’s, Charles, Baltimore, and Montgomery Counties. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a dedicated lawyer from Lebowitz and Mzhen today.