Despite the fact that sexual assaults occur in nursing homes across the country on a routine basis, claims of sexual abuse are consistently too slow to be reported to authorities or investigated by nursing homes when claims are made by residents. According to an in-depth investigation conducted by CNN, most cases of sexual assault in nursing homes do not make it out of the nursing home. This is due in part to the fear of nursing home management that the disclosure of any sexual abuse may result in legal liability.
According to the report, more than 16,000 cases of sexual assault have been reported against nursing home employees since 2000. However, that figure is believed to be much lower than the actual rates of sexual abuse, due to the gap in reporting. It is believed that many victims of nursing home sexual abuse do not report the abuse for several reasons. For example, many nursing home residents fail to report because they are embarrassed of what happened to them. Sadly, those who do report their abuse are often met with skepticism by staff and sometimes even family members.
Another reason why the statistics of abuse may be lower than in reality is that many times nursing homes insist that any out-of-court settlement between a resident and the nursing home be kept confidential and be made without the nursing home needing to admit fault. Notwithstanding that reality, the article discovered over 1,000 cases in which nursing homes were cited for failing to prevent or report instances of sexual assault against a resident.
A Nursing Home’s Duty to Its Residents
It goes without saying that a nursing home’s duty to its residents includes keeping the residents free from all forms of physical and sexual abuse. When this type of abuse does occur, however, it is not only a violation of the law but also a violation of the resident’s basic rights. This type of violation may be the basis for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the surrounding circumstances.
It is important to keep in mind that a nursing home’s duty to its residents is broad and requires that the home provide more than just a safe environment. A nursing home must also provide an acceptable level of medical care to residents. A failure to provide this required level of care may result in a case for nursing home neglect.
Has Your Loved One Suffered from Abuse or Neglect in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they are not being treated appropriately, you or your loved one may be entitled to monetary compensation through a nursing home negligence or abuse lawsuit. The skilled personal injury attorneys at the Maryland-based law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have decades of experience helping their injured clients seek justice and compensation through the filing of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against the parties responsible for their injuries or indignities. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Recently Filed Case Claims Nurses Tied Down Resident and Administered Narcotic Medication Against Her Will, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 7, 2017.
Nursing Homes Must Comply with Mandatory Discovery Requirements or Potentially Face Contempt Charges, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 28, 2017.