Lawyers are seeking $45 million from the state of Arizona after a 29 year old women living in Hacienda HealthCare, a Phoenix area nursing home, unexpectedly gave birth to a child in December of 2018.
The woman, who has been in a vegetative state since she was 3 years old, was living in the nursing home because she required around the clock care.
The baby was found by a nurse who was supposed to be changing the woman and saw the baby’s head. Apparently the staff of Hacienda HealthCare had not recognized – or had not acted on – signs that the woman was pregnant, even though she supposedly had been cared for by nurses and other medical professionals.
How did this happen? How could a nursing home that was entrusted with the care of a ‘non-verbal and generally unresponsive’ patient not notice the abuse – especially as it was their duty to do so? And if they were aware of the abuse and neglect – why did they not act? These are the same type of questions our Florida nursing home abuse lawyers ask when work with victims and their families.
In this case, a police investigation found that one of the nursing home employees, a male nurse who was a licensed practical nurse, had repeatedly raped the women and fathered the child. The claim says the nurse provided unsupervised care for the victim over 1,000 times, including more than 800 times overnight.
Additionally, the nursing staff was found to have not provided the care deserved by the woman because of her physical state or during her pregnancy – putting both the mother and child at risk.
According to an article in The National Law Review, “Hacienda HealthCare was entrusted to give the patient around-the-clock care. Not only did they overlook the signs of repeated sexual abuse the hospital reported, which allowed for it to continue, but they also failed to detect her pregnancy. The facility’s negligence caused the patient to go through her pregnancy without any proper care and in a state of malnutrition.”
Can something like this happen here in Florida? Absolutely.
Stories similar to this one occur each month in Miami, Orlando, Tampa and around the state, though, unless they are as egregious as the above incident, they generally won’t grab the headlines.
But as recent reports indicate, nursing home abuse is more rampant than we’re led to believe.
At Baron & Herskowitz, we’ve worked with many victims and their family members who have suffered nursing home abuse, mistreatment and neglect. Examples of this are more common than even we’d like to believe. Our lawyers have heard some awful stories and first hand accounts of the abuse that takes place in Florida nursing homes.
Our goals is to help victims and their families hold individuals and nursing home companies responsible for their actions. If you or someone you know has been a victim of abuse, we’d like to hear your story.
Do you have questions about possible abuse or neglect of a loved one? Please call the law offices of Baron & Herskowitz today.
US News and World Report: Claim Seeks $45M for Incapacitated Woman Who Gave Birth