Sexual Assault in Drug Rehab Facility Lawsuit
This medical malpractice claim was filed in Baltimore City after a nurse inappropriately touched a drug rehab resident during a physical exam. It was filed in Maryland Health Claims Arbitration on February 20, 2018, and it is the 85th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations
A man spent one month at Gaudenzia drug rehabilitation and treatment center. About halfway through his residency, the man was required to submit to a physical examination. The exam was performed by a certified nurse practitioner late in the day, unsupervised, and in a remote location of the rehab facility.
During the exam, the nurse inappropriately touched the man. When the man protested and asked for an explanation, the nurse insisted that he needed to know whether or not the man could still obtain an erection. The lawsuit is a little vague but the inappropriate touching continued and the nurse groaned in apparent pleasure. The man reported the sexual misconduct to a staff counselor and the director of the program. Later in his continued inpatient treatment, the man learned that the same nurse had previously molested several other patients.Additional Comments
The nurse in this case is male.
There is no question that sexual predators look for vulnerable victims. When you are in a drug treatment program getting a physical exam, you are vulnerable.
One big question that may make a difference is liability can be proven is the relative physicality of the men. What makes women particularly susceptible to abuse is that men are usually stronger physically. If these are men of seemingly equal size and strength, some Baltimore County jurors are going to wonder whether why the patient let the exam continue when he obviously knew something was not right about what the nurse was doing.
The tough this about proving this case is that is he said/he said. Who is the jury going to believe? The plaintiff starts at a little disadvantage because he is in a drug treatment facility. But, ultimately, how this plays out at trial will depend on the credibility of both men.
If plaintiff's lawyers could develop testimony of habit or practice of taking patients to a remote area to molest them with the same "I need to see if you can get an erection" nonsense, that might be admissible and would make the case much easier to win.
- Baltimore City
- Gaudenzia, Inc.
- A nurse practitioner
Failing to maintain an appropriate patient relationship.
Inappropriately examining and touching the claimant.
Engaging in physical acts of intimacy that were unnecessary for the proper performance of medical services.
Violating professional and ethical boundaries.
Failing to engage a chaperone for all examinations performed by the defendant nurse.
As a result of the defendants' negligence, the claimant suffered mental anguish and unnecessary medical care and expenses.
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