Medical malpractice and hospital safety issues resulting in serious injuries concern more than just medication and surgery. In some cases, a hospital staff member puts a patient in danger by exploiting a position of authority to cause harm or injuries. Holding a person responsible for medical malpractice or abusing an authoritative position may be necessary to prevent further acts of negligence and abuse.
A former female patient at Stroger Hospital in Cook County, Illinois, claims in a lawsuit that a male nurse there sexually assaulted her. She claims he abused her while she was in the burn ward, attempting to recover from horrible injuries. Her complaint details what she says was repeated unwelcome sexual touching culminating in non-consensual sex. The lawsuit asserts claims of hospital negligence and gender violence.
The nurse is accused of coming to the victim's room repeatedly when it was not necessary for her care and treatment. In one instance, pretending to check her breathing with a stethoscope, he allegedly moved across her breasts several times. He was doing this for his own gratification, according to the patient, not to analyze her physical wellbeing.
Later, when he washed her, he took the opportunity to grope her body. When the woman objected and asked him to stop, he said that he was just doing his job. After this, the nurse briefly left the patient's room. He returned a short time later, climbed on top of her and assaulted the patient by having non-consensual sex with her.
The patient says that she found these actions extremely objectionable, but feared that verbally protesting could result in the nurse harming her. She was in a vulnerable condition, both emotionally and physically, due to her difficult recovery process. In similar instances, hospital patients may fear retaliation from medical staff if they complain about mistreatment.
Punitive damages of $50,000 each are sought on the two claims in the lawsuit, as well as attorney's fees. In this case, the hospital may have been negligent in hiring, supervising and retaining the nurse. Patients who believe that they have been abused or neglected should speak to an attorney to learn their rights.
Source: CBS Chicago, "Lawsuit: Male Nurse Sexually Assaulted Woman Patient At Stroger Hospital," May 18, 2012