Earlier this month in a Washington courthouse, charges were filed against a nursing home based on allegations that the home’s employees failed to prevent the sexual abuse of a resident. According to one local news source, the lawsuit claims that the plaintiff’s sister was sexually abused by another resident, which led to substantial weight loss and ultimately a premature death.
Evidently, the plaintiff’s sister was a dementia patient in the nursing home, was bed-bound, and could barely speak. Another male resident engaged in sexual conduct with the woman on numerous occasions, and the nursing home staff allegedly did nothing to prevent it. Nor did they report the abuse to the woman’s family. In fact, one nursing supervisor allegedly told the State investigatory body that the male resident had a right to pleasure that could not be denied, “including sexual satisfaction and intimacy needs.”
Shortly after the abuse began, the woman started to lose weight quickly, and she passed away not long afterward. An investigation by the State of Washington into the nursing home’s practices resulted in a $6,000 fine being issued. The home was also required to rewrite nursing home policies and provide additional training to nurses. The plaintiffs claim that the home should be punished more harshly for the incompetence and negligence of its staff.
Resident-on-Resident Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes
When the topic of nursing home abuse comes up, the picture is often one of a predatory staff member engaging in inappropriate behavior with a resident or a frustrated nurse physically abusing a patient. However, there are increasing instances of resident-on-resident abuse in nursing homes across the country.
As in the case above, the family members of those who have been the victims of resident-on-resident abuse have started to look to the nursing home itself for answers. After all, it is the nursing home’s duty to ensure that their residents are safe and remain free from abuse, including abuse that occurs at the hands of other residents.
Cases of resident-on-resident abuse may be more difficult to prove than those when a nursing home employee is the one engaging in the abuse because the plaintiff must establish “causation.” Causation is the legal requirement that the plaintiff show that the defendant’s negligent actions were the actual cause of the plaintiff’s harm. In this case, a plaintiff would have to show that the nursing home’s lapse in supervision was the cause of the abuse. To learn more about the various issues that can arise in a case involving resident-on-resident abuse, contact a Maryland nursing home abuse attorney.
Has Your Loved One Suffered from Abuse While in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they have been subject to abuse, whether at the hands of an employee or another resident, you may be entitled to monetary damages. To learn more about nursing home abuse cases in Maryland, and to speak with a skilled attorney who is dedicated to the protecting the rights of aging Marylanders, call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation. Calling is free, and there is no obligation.
See More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Pays $1.4 Million to Settle Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published June 16, 2015.
Nursing Home Charged with Covering Up Alleged Patient Abuses, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published May 21, 2015.