Sexual Assault in Maryland Nursing Homes

In a shocking case that sounds as an alarm to families of Maryland nursing home residents as well as those throughout the country, police are investigating after a nursing home resident in a vegetative state gave birth on December 29 in Arizona. According to a recent news report, the woman was 29 years old and had been in a vegetative state and coma for over a decade after she had almost drowned, according to a news source. Staff at the facility reportedly did not realize the patient was pregnant until she went into labor.

Evidently, the company’s CEO resigned after heading the company for 28 years and police opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. The facility specializes in caring for individuals with intellectual disabilities. According to the Medicare website, the facility received a “below average” rating from health inspectors in 2017. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also gave the facility’s quality of care a rating of “much below average.”

The state’s Department of Health Services stated that it would conduct an inspection of the facility after the incident. Another incident at the facility was reported in 2013. At that time, a male staff member made sexually explicit remarks to patients, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Phoenix police are now conducting an investigation and collecting DNA from all male staff members at the facility. The family’s attorney stated that the family is “outraged, traumatized, and in shock by the abuse and neglect of their daughter” at the facility. The attorney also said that the baby was “born into a loving family and will be well cared for.”

Maryland Nursing Home Sexual Assault Claims

Americans with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than those without disabilities, according the data from National Public Radio and the Justice Department. Individuals with intellectual disabilities are easily manipulated and are unable to or have difficulty testifying, making them a target for abusers. Under Maryland law, the crime of “abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult” is defined as sexual abuse by rape, incest, sodomy, sexual exploitation, other sexual offense, or any “unnatural or perverted sexual practices.” A vulnerable adult is defined as “an adult who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for the adult’s daily needs.”

Nursing home residents have rights under federal and state law, including the right to reside in a safe facility free from abuse of all kinds. Under Maryland Family Law Article § 14-101, abuse is defined as “the sustaining of any physical injury by a vulnerable adult as a result of cruel or inhumane treatment or as a result of a malicious act by any person.” Nursing homes are responsible for keeping residents safe by putting policies and procedures in place to protect residents from abuse. Maryland nursing homes must have written policies and procedures prohibiting abuse and neglect, and they must investigate and report any allegations of abuse within 24 hours.

Talk to a Maryland Injury Attorney About Suspected Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect that your loved one may have been the victim of nursing home abuse, other nursing home residents may be at risk. To speak with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as possible, call the attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our attorneys have nearly two decades of experience representing victims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our attorneys can advise you on the proper steps to take in order to obtain compensation and protect others. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation by email or by phone toll-free at 1-800-654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Not All Maryland Liability Release Waivers Are Enforceable, Maryland Accident Law Blog, January 2, 2019.

Determining Liability in Maryland Sports Injury Cases, Maryland Accident Law Blog, December 24, 2018.

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