Any type of elder abuse in Oregon nursing homes is horrible, but sexual abuse in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, or other healthcare facilities is egregious and despicable. All types of nursing home and elder abuse are problems in the United States, with approximately 10 to 11% of elders being abused physically, sexually, emotionally, financially, or otherwise neglected. Our Oregon sexual abuse lawyers know how devastating and catastrophic sexual abuse can be. While .6% of nursing home residents are sexually abused and it may not sound like a large figure, the fact that there are 1.3 million nursing homes residents means that there are 7,800 victims of sexual abuse a year. This means more than 21 victims a day are sexually abused while under the care and supervision of nursing homes.
But these are just the victims that we know about. This is because many sexual abuse victims at nursing homes and other elder facilities are individuals who are unable to defend themselves. Some residents are easy targets in that they may have communication, cognitive, or other impairments which prevent them from reporting the crimes against them. Other times victims are easily coerced to not report the crime or else their abuser will seriously hurt or kill them.
Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse in Oregon Nursing Homes
There are many warning signs of any type of abuse in nursing homes, but sexual abuse can be one of the most difficult types to detect because injuries are generally in private areas. This means that many injuries may be under clothing and otherwise not visible. Other times injuries could have many other causes. It can also be uncomfortable for family or friends to ask about the causes of certain injuries, especially possibly sexual abuse injuries, because residents are nursing homes are not considered to be sexually active or capable. But this is necessary because a loved one’s best advocate is their family or friends who come to visit.
This is why it is important for family and friends to know the warning signs of sexual abuse in Oregon nursing homes. Some of the most common warnings signs of sexual abuse in elderly residents include the following:
Liability for Oregon Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
There are several important issues with liability in sexual abuse cases at Oregon nursing homes. It is important to realize that liability could be against the individual abuser, the nursing home, or both. Sometimes all could be liable for the actions of one person. Liability could be prefaced on intentional acts (purposeful acts to cause harm) or negligent acts or omissions (unintentional acts which were unreasonable). The most common individuals or entities liable include the following:
Individual abuser – the individual abuser is likely causing intentional acts which harm the resident. These instances of sexual abuse can be devastating and damaging to a resident and his or her family. The individual abuse will likely be liable for intentional torts (civil wrongs) committed against the resident, as well as likely crimes against the victim.
Nursing Home/Facility Liable for Abuser’s Acts – employers are generally liable for the actions of their employees that are committed within the scope of employment. This is known as respondeat superior, which means the master is liable for the servant’s acts. While intentional acts like sexual abuse do not also render an employer liable for them, there are certain exceptions which include when the type of employment could reasonable result in those intentional acts. Nursing home care, particularly the acts of bathing, cleaning, and other hygienic functions of staff for residents could reasonably result in intentional sexual abuse acts. This could make a nursing home liable.
Nursing Home/Facility Liable for Negligence – in addition to being potentially liable for the intentional sexual abuse, nursing homes and facilities could be independently liable for their own negligence in hiring, training, supervising, and otherwise monitoring residents and their employees. This means if a nursing home hires individuals who have a criminal history of sexually abusing residents, the nursing home could be liable for this negligent hire. Nursing homes also need to have some awareness of their staff and what goes on in their facilities, and the failure to do so could also be negligence.
Bend/Portland, Oregon Sexual Abuse Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.