The Associated Press (AP) reported that a Seattle assisted living facility’s insurance company has agreed to settle a lawsuit that alleged that the assisted living facility’s lax supervision of an employee resulted in the ability of the employee to repeatedly rape and sexually abuse a vulnerable resident. The rapes were reportedly recorded on a video camera that the resident’s relatives had hidden in her room after the resident disclosed the rapes to them.
The resident, who was in her 50s, suffered from multiple sclerosis. The assisted living facility’s employee was charged two years ago with rape and indecent liberties, and he remains in jail awaiting trial.
The lawsuit was reportedly filed against Foss Home and Village in 2019 and alleged that the Seattle assisted living facility was negligent in hiring the employee and was also negligent in failing to have a system in place to ensure that the woman’s care was monitored and properly supervised. In particular, the assisted living facility sexual abuse lawsuit alleged that Foss Home and Village failed to provide care to vulnerable residents in a reasonable, safe, and prudent manner, including failing to exercise care in hiring, retaining, and supervising employees.
An independent investigation by Adult Protective Services of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, the Seattle Police Department, and the assisted living facility itself reportedly concluded that the sexual abuse of the resident had occurred,
The President and CEO of Foss Home and Village reportedly wrote in an emailed statement: “Had we known, we would have immediately contacted the police in alignment with our established policies and procedures. As soon as we did know, the offending employee was immediately suspended and later terminated.”
The law firm that represented the plaintiff stated: “The settlement is the result of a lawsuit filed by the court appointed guardian of the victim V.S., a female in her late 50s who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair. V.S. was a resident of FHV from September 10, 2018, to July 2, 2019. During that time, FHV employee Shimiyimana Hamzat sexually assaulted V.S. under the guise of providing care. Several instances of abuse were caught on video.”
Foss Home and Village states on its website: “Having served the community since 1929, Foss has built an excellent reputation for quality care and innovative services. Located in north Seattle’s Broadview neighborhood, Foss is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Lutheran Church. At Foss, we celebrate a diverse community, welcome individual differences and honor self-expression.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of an assisted living facility in Washington or in another U.S. state due to assisted living neglect, assisted living negligence, assisted living abuse, assisted living understaffing, or the assisted living facility failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find an assisted living claim lawyer in Washington or in your state who may investigate your assisted living claim for you and file an assisted living claim on your behalf or on behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
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