Following allegations of a sexual assault committed by a young resident on another elderly resident at an Elgin nursing facility, a nursing home lawsuit has been filed. The lawsuit filed by the elderly victim names: Maplewood Care Inc., S.I.R. Management Inc. (the facilities parent company) and James Doyle, the facilities administrator, as defendants in the matter. The lawsuit alleges the facility failed to take steps to protect the safety of its elderly resident leading up to a January 17, 2009 sex assault.
The facts surrounding the sexual assault are so remarkably pathetic that an attorney for the elderly plaintiff, believes punitive damages may be warranted. The alleged perpetrator is 21-year-old Christopher Shelton. If the allegations in the complaint prove true, this is truly an outrageous situation involving a facilities total disregard for the safety of its residents.
“This is one of the worst cases of neglect that I have ever seen. They apparently have no protocols, procedures or practices in place that guard or protect other residents from something like this,” according to the unnamed victims attorney.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Maplewood take into consideration Shelton’s criminal history including: criminal convictions, aggravated battery, domestic battery and fleeing from police. If Shelton’s history wasn’t enough to tip off nursing home officials– the complaint also alleges that the facility failed to implement any preventative measures following his forceful removal from the nursing home for a criminal sentencing.
This civil lawsuit follows a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services into the incident that concluded that Maplewood, “failed to prevent the physical abuse of one resident by another resident…” The Department also fined Maplewood $40,000 for the incident.
Shelton is in police custody after being charged with criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual assault of a victim over 60. A Kane County Judge has set bond for Shelton at $500,000.
A Duty To Protect Residents From Harm
Nursing homes caring for a residents of mixed ages need to take precautions to assure the safety of every resident— this should include maintaining separate quarters for younger residents. Additionally, nursing home staff should monitor residents to catch suspicious activity before it turns into something more problematic.
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