The family of a victim of nursing home abuse in Colorado has brought attention to the story of their loved one to raise public concern and awareness. The family also questions the effectiveness of the reporting policy of an area nursing facility after a 37-year-old employee was allowed to continue working at another nearby facility for months after he was accused of sexually abusing a volunteer.
According to a report recently published by an industry news source, a former nursing home employee reportedly sexually abused the daughter of another nursing home employee who was volunteering at the facility. This conduct was reported to the facility immediately after it had occurred. Later, the victim’s mother expressed concern that law enforcement and regulatory authorities were not contacted after the abuse was first reported. In response, the facility explained that it was not required to report allegations of abuse by employees against volunteers, only by employees against other employees or patients.
Inconsistent Reporting Rules Allowed Accused Abuser to Keep Working at Another Facility
After the sexual abuse allegations were made against the employee and an investigation completed, the employee’s employment at the nursing home where the alleged abuse occurred was terminated. Since the previously mentioned state reporting requirements did not require termination or reporting, the facility management did not report the abuse allegations to the licensing authority, and as a result, the man was permitted to work as a nursing aide at a nearby facility in another town for months after his arrest.
Although no other acts of abuse have been reported, and the abuser has now been terminated from both facilities, this instance demonstrates the problems faced by nursing home residents and their families in trying to identify and avoid facilities where abuse occurs or is permitted by management.
Facilities Have an Incentive to Conceal Abuse
In many nursing facilities nationwide, an allegation of physical or sexual abuse by an employee against a patient or other person will trigger a review and assessment process to determine what happened and what should be done in response. The effect of this process often results in increased expenses incurred by the facility where the allegations were made. Because of time and cost considerations, as well as the damage that an abuse allegation can cause to a facility’s reputation, many nursing facilities attempt to cover up allegations of abuse against their employees and will not report anything to regulatory authorities unless they are required to do so.
Considering these factors, families of people seeking long-term care at a nursing facility may be justifiably uneasy about the stories of abuse they hear. Nursing home abuse is surprisingly common, and the families of abuse victims deserve a supportive system to respond to abuse and stick up for their legal rights.
A Washington, D.C. and Maryland Nursing Home Abuse law Firm
If you or a loved one may be a nursing home abuse victim, contact a lawyer to discuss if you may have a claim for damages. The Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers can offer advice and representation for your nursing home abuse case at no cost to you. Our dedicated Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. neglect and abuse attorneys know how to hold care facilities accountable for the conduct of their employees. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent clients in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area in all types of nursing home abuse and malpractice cases. Contact us by calling toll-free at 1-800-654-1949 or through our online form to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case today.
More Blog Posts:
Appellate Court Reverses Lower Court’s Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Nursing Home Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 6, 2017.
State Passes Bill Providing Cameras in Nursing Home Facilities in Hopes of Decreasing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 21, 2016.