Apr 072014

Assaults in nursing homes are actually very common and will continue to occur in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This is highlighted by the fact that the aging population is expected to continue to increase over the next few decades. Elderly victims of assaults can suffer major injuries, like a head injury, and in many cases, victims may suffer strokes or heart attacks as a result.

Assaults are not limited to nursing homes. They also occur in other long term care facilities, such as:

  • homes and facilities for disabled children and adults,
  • respite care facilities, and
  • rehabilitation centers.

Physical & Sexual Assaults in Nursing Homes

There are two common types of assault situations: physical assaults and sexual assaults. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, click here to read about what you can do.

Nursing Home Liability for Physical Assaults

Physical assaults can be perpetrated by fellow residents, strangers, and employees. Depending on the circumstances of the assault, the nursing home may be liable for negligence which led to the assault. In general, nursing homes may be liable for:

  • failing to supervise,
  • failing to provide proper training,
  • negligence in hiring, and
  • negligence in retaining an employee.

The following is an example of nursing home liability for a physical assault by a nursing home employee. A nursing home employee is known to have problems getting along with a specific resident. However, the nursing home does not intervene and simply ignores the problem. Weeks later, the employee assaults the resident, who sustains major injuries.

Related: Negligence Claims Against Nursing Homes in Pennsylvania & New Jersey

In this situation, the nursing home would be liable for failing to provide proper supervision, despite having had fair warning of the problem. In addition, the nursing home failed to provide proper training to other employees about how to report such problems and/or how to respond to them.

In some cases, nursing homes may be liable for failing to conduct a proper background check or otherwise retaining an employee who exhibits aggressive behavior to others. For example, a nursing home would be liable for failing to conduct a criminal background check on an employee with a violent criminal record, if that employee then assaults and kills a resident.

Nursing Home Liability for Sexual Assaults in Nursing Homes

Across the country, there have been recent reports of sexual assaults in nursing homes. The perpetrators of sexual assaults in nursing homes may be strangers, employees and even fellow residents. While all nursing home residents are at risk, those with dementia or Alzheimer’s are often victimized. Nursing homes may be liable for negligence which leads to a sexual assault. The theories of liability in a sexual assault case are very similar to those discussed above.

More: Nursing Home Abuse in Pennsylvania – Neglect

PA & NJ Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

The elderly, infirm and disabled absolutely deserve justice. If you or a loved one was the victim of an assault at a nursing home or long term care facility, please contact our office to arrange a free consultation with our PA and NJ nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers. (215) 985-0777

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