Personal Injury

Nursing home faces $2 million lawsuit for sex abuse incident

A Portland, Ore., nursing home faces a $2 million lawsuit after a sexual encounter between two residents, according to The Oregonian. According to the report, staff members at Healthcare at Foster Creek saw a 61-year-old woman with dementia standing half-naked in a room with Marko Chandler, a 68-year-old resident who suffered from a lesser case of dementia. The two were not touching, but staff dressed the woman and separated the two. Nursing home staff did not call police or the woman’s family, even though they knew the woman’s cognitive disorder left her unable to consent to such activities.

Five days later, the same woman was found lying in her bed naked while Chandler sexually abused her. When the nursing aide found Chandler he asked the nursing aide not to tell authorities. Meanwhile, his victim cried hysterically. For months after the incident, the woman refused to eat and would have crying episodes.

Chandler was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and unlawful sexual penetration for the alleged molestation of the woman. A judge found him unfit to stand trial and committed him to a mental health unit.

The lawsuit, filed Monday against Healthcare at Foster Creek, alleges that the nursing home failed to protect one of its most vulnerable residents. The lawsuit also contends that 38 complaints of abuse or neglect were substantiated at the home between 2004 and 2008.

Nursing home administer Bill Swanson, who came to Foster Creek three months before the sexual abuse incident, says he is aware of the nursing home’s troubled past but he and a new management company are working to change things for the better.