At all times relevant, an 80-year-old female nursing home patient had dementia and was cognitively incapacitated. The patient was incapable of receiving and evaluating information effectively and responding to people, events, or environments to such an extent that she was able to meet the essential requirements of her health, care, safety, or therapeutic needs, rendering her incapable of taking care of or protecting herself or her affairs. The nursing home knew that the patient was cognitively impaired as described above, was unable to recognize danger to herself, had poor awareness of her safety, and was unable to take care of or protect herself.
On September 4, 2015, the nursing home permitted a male patient in the facility to rape and otherwise sexually assault the 80-year-old female patient. Specifically, the male patient was known by the nursing home before the rape and sexual assault to represent a sexual threat to the female patient and was observed to have been lingering in and around the patient’s room for a prolonged period of time before the rape and sexual assault occurred. The nursing home did not supervise either patient or ensure they were separated.
The male patient was later found by the nursing home’s nursing director behind the closed door of the female patient’s room lying on top of the patient, who was on her stomach. Both patients were naked from the waist down, the male patient was trying to penetrate and/or successfully penetrated the female patient anally, and the female patient’s smeared feces was strewn about her body. The female patient remarked she had been sleeping and the male patient “forced her.” The rape and sexual assault were not “consensual,” as the female patient did not and could not consent.
As a result of the attack, the female patient sustained a vaginal tear consistent with sexual assault, as well as anal and urethal prolapse. The female patient also had to endure testing for HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, and weekly tests on her liver and kidneys.
The family contacted us to pursue claims against the nursing home for failing to provide proper protection for the patient to prevent the assault from occurring. We were able to obtain a $1,143,846.59 settlement award for the patient’s family.