A 43-year-old woman who had just undergone nine hours of surgery to remove a pancreatic tumor in April 2013 alleges that she was sexually assaulted by a hospital employee shortly after her surgery. The lawsuit was filed on April 7, 2014 against the Los Angeles hospital where she had her surgery and alleges that a 56-year-old hospital employee (a certified nursing assistant) sexually assaulted her while she was very weak and in excruciating pain following her surgery: he offered her a back rub but allegedly moved his hands to her breasts and groin despite being told by the woman to stop.
The woman alleges that she reported the incident to the hospital on June 13, 2013, but the hospital never interviewed her or investigated the incident. After she made several attempts to discuss her complaint with the hospital, she was ultimately told that the hospital employee had been fired and that if she intended to proceed further with her complaint about the incident, she should contact the police.
The hospital has stated that the employee was suspended on June 18, 2013 and then fired on July 11, 2013. Criminal charges arising out of the alleged incident involving the woman have not yet been filed. The California Department of Public Health revoked the Nurse Assistant Certification of the former hospital employee on November 21, 2013, “based on the Department’s investigation concerning multiple allegations of unprofessional conduct (e.g. sexual abuse)” while he was employed at the hospital and concluding “that these allegations are substantiated.”
Disturbing Prior Incidents Alleged
According to reports, the same former hospital employee has been investigated for prior allegations of sexual abuse at the hospital. The Los Angeles Police Department reportedly began an investigation of the former hospital employee in 2013 after two former patients reported allegations of sexual abuse at the hospital. During their investigation, the police reportedly discovered a sexual assault allegation in 2000 against the former hospital employee as well as a prior complaint by the former employee’s co-worker that she was raped by him after an office party.
On the same day that the woman’s medical malpractice/sexual assault lawsuit was filed, the defendant hospital released a statement saying that it conducted investigations after each complaint against its former employee and that its assistance resulted in the former employee’s nursing assistant certification being revoked.
The woman’s attorney stated after filing the lawsuit against the hospital, “It is outrageous that [the defendant hospital] allowed [its former employee] to continue working there despite repeated complaints of him sexually abusing patients. It is tragic that the alleged attack on our client was completely preventable by this institution.”
If you or a loved one were assaulted or abused in a hospital or by a health care provider in another setting, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice/sexual assault/abuse claim for you and represent you in a case against the responsible party(ies), if appropriate.
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