A jury awarded $750,000 to a disabled man who was a resident at Cote De Neige Home for Adults after he was sexually assaulted by a worker at the facility. The lawsuit was brought against the assisted living facility for their failure to conduct an adequate pre-hiring background search before hiring a certified nursing assistant.
Junious Boyd Batten, the CNA who was allegedly involved in the sexual assault, currently faces five counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of carnal knowledge and one count of abuse and neglect for incidents that occurred between 2006 and mid-2007 while he was employed by Cote De Neige.
According to claims made in the lawsuit against Cote De Neige, Batten was a known criminal–both before and during his employment at Cote De Neige. The lawsuit claims Batten was charged with 13 criminal offenses– including four criminal convictions (public intoxication, two assault and battery charges and one contempt of court charge) during the course of his employment as a CNA.
Too often, in situations such as this, facilities are let off the hook because they claim they lack knowledge about an employees violent tendencies. While this case may be extreme– in terms of the extensive list of criminal charges Batten faced before and during the course of his employment– this verdict should serve as a reminder to all facilities that they must do an pre-employment job screening and continually supervise all employees.
Incidentally, this verdict includes $500,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. Consequently, even if this facility files for bankruptcy the owner of the facility will remain responsible for payment of the punitive aspect of this case.
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