Hartford Nursing Home & Rehab Center in Detroit, MI, failed to prevent a former employee from assaulting an 86 year-old resident and stealing her gold necklace. The facility’s negligence put that resident and everyone in the facility at risk for abuse and theft.
On April 26, 2012, the former employee (who had been fired from Hartford Nursing Home) made a friendly visit to the lady who she later assaulted. Since they did not change the door code, the former employee was able to enter the building at will, and was often seen by other staff in the facility weeks prior to the assault.
On April 27, 2012, at 10:00 pm, the former employee unexpectedly returned to the lady’s room. The lady was standing at her closet when the former employee appeared behind her, grabbed her around the chest, put her hand over her mouth, and ripped the gold chain off her neck. The lady fell to the bed, her neck and faced were badly scratched. She cried for help, but the first nurse to appear ignored her pleas. Then, when the resident walked to the nursing station to report what happened, the nurse on duty just made a note in the behavior log and told her to go back to her room.
Why was this resident, who was able to identify her attacker and had visible proof of an assault ignored by those who were supposed to care for her?
The nurse who first entered the room claimed that he thought the resident was just having a nightmare. The nurse at the station did not take her complaint further because she did not feel it was “her responsibility.” In fact, several staff noted the cuts to the resident’s neck and the fact that the two gold chains she always wore were missing but still did nothing. On May 7, 2012, the police were contacted about the incident, only because the lady was adamant about making a report.