Sexual assault, abuse and, child molestation occur once every 73 seconds in the U.S., according to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network. Approximately 10% of sexual abuse victims are children.
After children, the most vulnerable are patients in hospitals and nursing facilities.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities Have a Heightened Duty to Protect Patients
Hospitals, health care providers, and other medical facilities have a legal responsibility to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their patients and must ensure that all precautions are taken to prevent assaults by doctors, nurses, staff, other patients, and visitors.
A hospital or health provider must be proactive in preventing and stopping sexual misconduct. When allegations are raised against an employee, an immediate investigation is required. If sexual abuse or child sex abuse occurs because the hospital failed its duty to protect, it will be held liable for physical injuries and emotional harm that have been inflicted.
California Law: Hospital Sexual Abuse Allegations Must be Reported
As of January 1st, 2020, a new state law went into effect in California. Under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 805.8, hospitals, medical clinics, and other health care entities are required to report any written allegation of sexual abuse made by a patient to the appropriate state authorities. Providers that fail to follow the law face significant financial penalties and other sanctions.
How to Hold a Negligent Facility Liable through a Civil Sexual Assault Claim
Sexual assault is a serious criminal matter. The preparator—whether a doctor, nurse, or other party—faces criminal prosecution and civil liability for causing injuries. Suing criminals is largely a futile exercise. It is only when a health facility sets the stage for wrongful acts that a survivor can collect for their suffering.
Healthcare providers will be held liable for failing to:
- Institute proper security precautions;
- Screen or train employees;
- Conduct appropriate background checks;
- Fully investigate complaints made by a patient.
Proving sexual assault claims against a hospital or healthcare defendant requires a thorough investigation by an informed and experienced lawyer. We have substantial experienced California representing the survivors of sexual abuse and can provide the guidance and support needed to obtain all available compensation for the damage suffered.
In 1978 I chaired the publication of RAPE SURVIVOR’S RIGHTS: GUIDE FOR WOMEN for the Santa Clara County Bar Association. In 1984, I tried to verdict the first child molestation jury trial for damages against a molester in Santa Clara County and in 2019 the Alexander Law Group brought in a verdict for $28 million in the case of a child adopted from Russia who was abused as a sex slave for a decade.
No other law firm in Northern California has decades of experience supporting survivors of sexual assault.
If you or your loved one was sexually abused, contact us.
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Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. As safety lawyers we are committed to providing our clients and the public with information for safer and healthier living. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.