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New York Nursing Home Impedes Sexual Assault Investigation, Fined $10,000

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Last Updated: 07-25-2023
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

The New York State Health Department recently fined a Buffalo-area nursing home $10,000 for destroying evidence of an alleged sexual assault that took place at the nursing home. Officials claim that nursing home staff also waited hours before reporting the assault.

According to a report from The Buffalo News, staff from the Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center waited more than six hours before reporting the May 29 assault to the police. A 73-year-old male resident sexually assaulted an 88-year-old female resident around 4:30 a.m. on May 29. According to the article, both residents suffer from dementia and the female resident cannot leave her bed without the help of a mechanical lift.

Nursing home staff members checked in on the female resident after hearing her shout “No” to the man, but decided they didn’t find evidence of a sexual assault. Later, a staff member cleaned the woman and changed her underwear, destroying any evidence that could have been examined by the police.

The alleged victim’s daughter filed a civil suit against the nursing home’s owners in September, though on Nov. 4 the owners denied responsibility.

Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is relatively common and is generally underreported. According to a study by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, for every report filed by a victim of nursing home abuse, there are five cases that go unreported. Whether you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse from a nursing home staff member or a fellow resident, there are professional nursing home abuse attorneys who will fight for you, such as the ones at Hach & Rose, LLP.

Contact a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one have been victimized in a nursing home, contact the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057. We are here to support you through this challenging time, so call us or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today. We’ll help you understand your rights and legal options, and will help you get the justice you deserve.

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