In a recent nursing home abuse lawsuit, a California jury awarded a dementia resident $12.5 million after being attacked by a cook who worked at the facility. In 2007, Sophie Schwartz, a 92 year-old dementia patient, was asleep in her bed at Oakdale Heights of Santa Clarita when she was awakened by a man on top of her.
The man, Jose Eduard Vazquez, attempted to rape her until he was thwarted by another employee. Schwartz, through a guardian ad litem, sued Vazquez and the facility’s owner, operator and administrator. Schwartz’s attorneys claimed that Vazquez attacked Schwartz after consuming liquor on the job. He reportedly gained entry to Schwartz’s room with a master key provided to all employees. The defense argued that the incident was not related to hiring practices or lack of supervision at the facility.
VerdictSearch; Schwartz v. Oakdale Heights Management Corp.; September 9, 2010.