The act of sexually assaulting any person is outrageous and intolerable to the civilized community. Sexual assault of a defenseless vulnerable adult by his or her care giver—someone who was entrusted to provide for the resident’s safety and well-being—is an outrageous betrayal.
The gravity of the betrayal is multiplied when the employers and supervisors of the perpetrator deny and attempt to cover up their employee’s crime.
Although care facility residents have inherent and legal rights not to be sexually abused, sexual abuse by caregivers in the elder care and assisted living industry is an ongoing and pervasive problem in our society. It is a well-known risk to facility owners and operators in the elder health care industry. In Minnesota, for example, the Minnesota Department of Health has substantiated 21 reports of sexual abuse in long term care facilities (9 in skilled nursing facilities and 12 in assisted living facilities) since 2005. In at least 16 of the substantiated reports, the perpetrator was an employee of the facility.
Sexual assault is intrinsically harmful. One of the known harms a sexual assault victim experiences is emotional distress. In elder victims with cognitive impairment, the initial post-trauma psychological symptoms are often muted. They suffer in apparent silence to the outside world. Victims may not be able to tell others of the details of the assault or following the assault, trauma-related thoughts they are experiencing. This constriction of expression leads some to think the elder is not suffering. To the contrary, withdrawn victims can suffer more intensely because they experience ongoing fear and re-traumatization as their minds attempt to reconcile memories of the incident, yet they are unable to communicate their suffering.
At the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, we are committed to exposing the wrongdoers—the perpetrators and their employers who fail to protect the victims from the betrayal. The Minnesota legislature has established that it is our state’s public policy “to protect adults who, because of physical or mental disability or dependency on institutional services, are particularly vulnerable to maltreatment; to assist in providing safe environments for vulnerable adults; and to provide safe institutional or residential services, community-based services, or living environments for vulnerable adults who have been maltreated.”
At the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, we are committed to enforcing these principles—words in the statute books alone mean nothing unless someone fights to enforce them.
The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients who have been sexually assaulted in nursing homes and other care facilities. The Minnesota Supreme Court has recognized that punishing wrongdoers who deliberately disregard the rights and safety of others is necessary “to deter repeat behavior and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.” At the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, we are committed to holding these wrongdoers accountable with punitive damages to punish them and to deter others from engaging in this reprehensible conduct in our community.
To learn more about our commitment to hold these wrongdoers accountable for sexual abuse, click on the following stories:
- Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm Reaches $10 million Settlement for Elderly Care Rape Case
- Kosieradzki Smith Case Causes Minnesota Lawmakers to Seek Change
- Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm Case Featured in New York Daily News
- Is the Minnesota Department of Health Doing Its Job?
- Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm Case Featured on Front Page of Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Kosieradzki Smith Case Prompts Investigation into Edgewood Vista Facilities
If you believe your loved one has been sexually assaulted in a nursing home or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.