Patient Reports Sexual Abuse Involving Employee at Northern Light Inland Hospital
A report by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has determined that Northern Light Inland Hospital failed to protect a patient from being sexually abused by an employee in the spring of 2018.
According to this report, a patient visited the Waterville hospital on April 3 based on a doctor’s recommendation to get an ultrasound of her abdomen and pelvis. A male employee who handled the ultrasound alleged called the patient “beautiful” and said that he would need to take additional images of her hernia the next day.
The patient returned to the hospital the next day and the same worker allegedly touched her inappropriately and without a valid medical reason, according to the complaint the patient filed with the hospital a week after the alleged assault.
This complaint was investigated by officials from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, who did not find any evidence that the patient actually needed to return to the hospital on April 4 after her initial ultrasound. The second exam was not ordered by a radiologist and the hospital had no record of images taken during the second exam. Additionally, there had been no female chaperone in the room for the second exam, which is a violation of hospital policy.
Investigators also found evidence that the accused employee, whose name has not been released, had been fired from another job at a Virginia hospital in 2006 when a female patient accused him of using an ultrasound wand to sexually assault her. They also discovered that Northern Light Inland Hospital only did a limited background check of the accused employee when he was hired in 2007.
Based on the sum of this evidence, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has found that the hospital violated a federal rule protecting patients from all types of abuse.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
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Legal Options For Victims of Patients Sexually Assaulted at Hospitals
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has helped victims of sexual abuse find justice in both criminal and civil courts. After spending several years as a sex crimes prosecutor, Brian now represents victims in civil lawsuits as one of the sex abuse victims lawyers at AbuseGuardian.com. We’ve asked Brian to share some of his knowledge concerning the legal rights of patients who have been sexually assaulted at hospitals by staff members:
Hospitals are legally required to ensure that their patients are protected from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. When a patient is abused at a hospital by a staff member, both the accused staff member and the hospital should be investigated.
The accused will be subjected to a criminal investigation by the police, while private attorneys and regulatory agencies can investigate hospitals to determine if the abuse occurred due to a failure to protect patients from abuse. If a failure to follow regulations or another form of negligence allowed the abuse to occur, the hospital could be held liable for damages in a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused at a hospital, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. You can learn more in a free consultation with one of our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers.
Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville, ME
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