Hospital Abuse and Assaults on Patients: Who is Liable? Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

Liability in Cases of Physical Assault and Sexual Assault on Hospital Patients: Portland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains


A physical assault or sexual assault on a patient in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other facility is a serious issue.  This is particularly true of elderly patients or patients who are unable to defend themselves or report the misconduct.  These are very vulnerable populations that require protections against physical and sexual violence.  But when these instances of misconduct occur, it is not always clear who is liable and who is responsible to pay for damages.  This is why a Portland medical malpractice lawyer is needed to help ascertain liable parties.


While it may sound simple that the aggressive committing the assault should be liable in a hospital, nursing home, or other facility, this is not always entirely true.  And it is not always going to create a situation where the victim can obtain compensation for his or her injuries.  This is because an individual is likely to be judgment proof.  This means that some victims may not be able to recover any compensation for the assault and subsequent medical bills.  


Insurance generally does not cover or pay for intentional acts.  This is because an employer is generally not liable for the intentional acts of an employee.  A physical assault or sexual assault is a type of intentional act that an employer may not be liable for, particularly in healthcare.  This means that the insurance company will not pay for the injuries and misconduct caused by a physical or sexual assault.


Therefore, in order to hold an employer liable for a physical assault or sexual assault on a patient, a victim needs to establish that the hospital committed negligence.  This is what the insurance coverage is aimed to protect against—negligent conduct resulting by accidents.  


Some examples of negligent conduct which may be imposed against a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other facility after an employee commits a physical or sexual assault includes the following:


  • Negligent hiring (hiring an employee with a propensity to commit these crimes, such as other offenses against vulnerable patients);
  • Negligent monitoring (having an at-risk employee but not monitoring or guarding against her or her conduct to ensure that assaults are not being committed);
  • Negligent training (not training the employee what is the acceptable manner to care for patients, including deescalation if a patient initiates the fight, and also negligent training for supervises or other staff to monitor employees);
  • Inadequate staffing (having too few staff members to properly monitor and treat patients, or to ensure that staff is not taking advantage of patients); and
  • Many other claims.


Victims of a Physical Assault or Sexual Assault in Oregon Should Call Our Firm


Even though a physical assault or sexual assault in a nursing home, hospital, rehabilitation center or other facility may be very serious and egregious, it can still be difficult to collect compensation as a victim.  This is why an experienced Portland medical malpractice lawyer is required to help protect the rights of a victim and ensure compensation can be obtained.  Please call us at Kuhlman Law, LLC to learn what your rights to compensation may be and how we can protect them.  


We handle cases throughout Oregon and Central Oregon, including Deschutes County, Salem, Portland, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Tigard, Oregon City, West Linn, Vancouver, Washington, The Dalles, Redmond, The Dalles, Albany, Medford, and any other city, including Bend, Oregon where our main law office is located, please call Kuhlman Law, LLC by dialing (541) 385-1999 to learn what your rights to compensation you may have.  You may also contact us using our easy and convenient “contact us” box at the bottom of our website.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough investigation to get you the answers you deserve, all for free.  There is no risk, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

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