On January 15, 2015, a man who was an inpatient in a Connecticut hospital sued the hospital for substantial damages for what he alleges was sexual abuse he suffered by a nursing assistant employed by the hospital. The plaintiff alleges that he had been hospitalized for over a month for treatment of a life-threatening illness, during which time he was unconscious or semi-conscious, heavily medicated, and unable to defend himself, when in June 2014 he awoke to find the nursing assistant, who was allegedly a serial sexual predator, fondling his genitals.
The male nursing assistant was arrested about one month later and was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault on the man. According to reports, the nursing assistant also faces pending first-degree sexual assault charges involving another mentally incapacitated patient at the defendant hospital. It has been reported that the nursing assistant has admitted to the police that he had sexually assaulted other patients during his three-year employment at the defendant hospital.
The man’s lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages against the hospital in the amount of $25 million for the sexual abuse. The man’s lawsuit alleges that the defendant hospital is guilty of negligent hiring, supervising, training, retaining, and disciplining the nursing assistant that allowed the nursing assistant to sexually abuse the plaintiff, and that the defendant hospital knew or should have known that the nursing assistant was “a sick and dangerous serial sexual predator who assaulted, abused, molested and raped helpless hospital patients and other vulnerable people.”
A spokeswoman for the defendant hospital responded to the plaintiff’s allegations by stating that the nursing assistant was terminated once the hospital had “sufficient reason” to determine that the nursing assistant had acted inappropriately: “[O]ur highest priority is patient safety. Any situation involving potential harm to our patients is deeply troubling and of the utmost concern to us.” In response to the plaintiff’s allegation that the defendant hospital accused him of lying, had threatened him, and had attempted to cover-up his allegations, the defendant hospital stated, “We have clear policies regarding employee standards of behavior. We take all patient claims seriously.”
If the defendant hospital is determined to have known, or should have known, that its nursing assistant posed a danger to patients due to past misconduct or present allegations of misconduct involving patient care, then the hospital should be held fully responsible for its own misconduct and negligence in allowing the nursing assistant to have patient contact with the plaintiff that may foreseeably lead to inappropriate and criminal contact with the plaintiff, who was a vulnerable adult incapable of protecting himself during his hospitalization – hospital patients facing life-threatening conditions should not have to worry that they will suffer unrelated, serious emotional or physical injuries that they could not anticipate or protect themselves against.
If you or a family member may have been harmed by the misconduct or other wrongdoing of a hospital employee in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your hospital misconduct claim for you and represent you in a lawsuit against a hospital, if appropriate.
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