01 Jun Nurse with record attacks patient, Nursing Home gets sued
Some years ago a shocking incident occurred: A nurse with a known criminal brutal attacked a patient in her care, injuring him grievously and landing the nursing home that she worked for deep in hot water.
The facts are as follows: The Bellamy (name changed) nursing home generally checks its staff three times before hiring them. In this case, however the administrator, for unknown reasons, chose to make an exception. Less than three months after the LVN (licensed vocational nurse) was hired, she lost her self restraint when a resident who required assistance called her away from the TV show that she was watching. A second LVN followed her into the room to assist with the patient, only be forced to restrain the first nurse as she attacked the patient. The administrators arrived on the scene in a matter of minutes, restraining the nurse and calling police. The nurse was arrested, and the patient went to the hospital.
Soon after, the patient’s family retained a lawyer who sued the home on multiple counts, and subpoenaed the administrators to gather evidence.
During her deposition the Chief Administrator of Bellamy was asked if, prior to hiring the nurse, if she checked any of her references. The administrator said she had not. The attorney then asked the administrator if, prior to hiring the LVN if she ran a criminal background check. She said she did not.
The attorney for the patient then produced a copy of the nurse’s criminal record. The attorney asked the administrator if she could identify the mug shot attached to the record. She also asked her to look at the date of birth and address listed on the criminal record. She then asked her to read aloud the criminal charges and convictions listed on the record.
The administrator said there appeared to be three convictions for assault, with one a felony conviction for assault on an elderly person. The attorney asked the Administrator if the person whose criminal record she was holding was one and the same as the nurse. The Administrator meekly was heard to say, “it appears so.”
Finally, the attorney played the video tape of the assault and asked the administrator if she could confirm that video tape was an accurate portrayal of the assault on the patient. The administrator agreed it was.
Three days later, the nursing home entered a settlement.
Of course, all of this was too late. The damage was done, and could not be undone. Not to the patient, and not to the Homes’ reputation.
Needless to say, none of this would have occurred if the home had taken the simple precaution of running a background check.
Sol, the CEO of Sapphire Background Check, LLC is quoted saying, I have seen an increase in lawsuits on employers when background checks are not performed on potential employees prior to employment.