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Patient-On-Patient Violence At Nursing Homes: Who Is Liable?

Disturbing headlines have appeared in newspapers throughout the country after a man allegedly raped a woman at a Cincinnati nursing home on Sunday. A 57-year-old man has been accused of raping a fellow patient who he had a prior relationship with.

The alleged victim told police that the accused became angry when she moved back to the Mount Airy nursing home after temporarily leaving the facility. She claims she pleaded for him to stop, but he raped her vaginally and anally with objects.

The horrifying allegations have raised questions about nursing home security.

Patient-on-patient assault has long been an issue at U.S. nursing homes. The incidents usually involve patients with dementia, who can become angry and violent because of their psychological condition. A common, but inappropriate, way nursing homes have curbed dementia-related violence is by overmedicating at-risk patients.

The most appropriate ways for nursing homes to guard against patient-on-patient violence may include:

  • Routine assessment of patients’ psychological health to recognize potential issues
  • Alarms for patients to easily access if a threat arises
  • Appropriate nurse staffing to diffuse potential altercations
  • Appropriate security staffing
  • Monitored security cameras

When nursing home violence results in serious harm, a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to get the victim and/or family sufficient compensation. The potential parties may include the violent patient, the nursing home and the security company (if it is an outside party).

If nursing home violence has affected your loved one, speak with an experienced Cincinnati personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.

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