All nursing homes in Georgia have regulations that require employees to report any instance of physical or sexual abuse to their superiors. The state has adopted virtually identical regulations. Unfortunately, not all nursing home employees treat the regulations seriously. The recent case of an accused abuser shows what happens when nursing home employees neglect their duty to obey the regulation.

The failure to report

On Oct. 16, 2020, a patient in the nursing home told a nurse that she had been the victim of sexual assault. Unfortunately, the nursing home staff did not refer the complaint to the LaFayette police until Oct. 20, 2020. By then, the suspect had stopped reporting for work at the nursing home. A warrant was issued charging him with one count of aggravated sodomy.

After further investigation, the police obtain four additional arrest warrants that also alleged aggravated sexual sodomy. The warrants involve sodomy with four different victims of the suspect. A detective with the LaFayette police surmised that the suspect may now be in Mexico. The police also revealed that the suspect was not certified as a CNA and was not eligible to work inside the nursing home. Two employees of the nursing home were also charged with crimes for failing to report the abuse to police in a timely manner.

Now what?

The man who allegedly committed the crimes of abuse may be beyond the jurisdiction of the LaFayette police and may never face a judge to answer for his crimes. Also, the families of the abuse victims may have difficulty in recovering damages for the assaults committed on their loved ones. The nursing home appears to have vicarious liablity for the acts of its employee even if he has left the United States. Anyone whose loved one has suffered abuse under similar circumstances may wish to consult a lawyer with experience in obtaining damages from nursing homes and hospitals for similar torts. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the evidence and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, emotional injury and future disability.