DeMent Askew’s client had suffered a stroke years ago. She could not speak as a result of the stroke, and she was also confined to a wheelchair. However, she was still very sharp mentally. She was residing in a nursing home because of her physical limitations.
One day, a new resident appeared in the nursing home. He was very rude and abusive to the staff and other residents. He was especially abusive to the female staff and residents. He made extremely inappropriate sexual comments to the female residents. The staff was made aware of his behavior.
One afternoon, this resident approached our client, wheeled her into a nearby room, and violently raped her. Our client was so embarrassed and ashamed about what happened, that she initially did not report the incident. She eventually mentioned it to a co-resident who reported it to management. The assailant was charged and convicted of second-degree rape.
When we initially approached the nursing home regarding this case, they defended the case asserting that the nursing home could not have known that this resident was going to commit such a violent act. We aggressively pursued an investigation, interviewing many witnesses, including the social worker for the assailant. Our investigation revealed that the nursing home management was very aware of the assailant’s behavior and violent tendencies. Our investigation also revealed that it appeared the nursing home’s management was made aware of the incident and tried to downplay it as consensual and cover it up.
We then presented the results of our investigation in a lengthy demand letter to the attorneys for the nursing home. We were able to successfully negotiate a large confidential settlement that was the limit of available insurance coverage for the nursing home.
Attorney: James Johnson
Date of Settlement: October 2015
(Cases referenced do not represent the firm’s entire record. Each case is different and should be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s past results.)