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Miami Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Miami Personal Injury Attorney > Psychiatric Hospital’s Negligence Implicated in Rape of Inpatient

Psychiatric Hospital’s Negligence Implicated in Rape of Inpatient


The Willough of Naples Psychiatric Hospital is being sued by a female patient known as Elizabeth Doe who alleges that she was raped during her stay at the hospital. The plaintiff claims that the hospital didn’t watch its patients closely enough and she ended up being the victim of sexual violence as a result of that failure.

The same hospital was fined in response to a male patient who fell and cracked one of his vertebrae. According to the investigation, the patient was supposed to be watched in order to prevent this type of thing from happening. The failure of the hospital to watch its patients, even those who have special orders related to their safety, resulted in a severe injury, yet the hospital was only fined $1,000 for the failure to minimize the risk of falls.

In other words, a state regulatory board sent a team to investigate the accident and conduct an inspection of the premises, and then exacted a $1,000 fine. Hardly seems worth the effort especially considering the cost of conducting that inspection was probably right around $1,000 if not more.

Neglect Implicated in Sexual Assault

The 58-year-old female patient was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of depression, PTSD, and opioid abuse. Five days into her stay at the hospital, she alleges that she was struck and sexually assaulted by a male patient at the hospital. The lawsuit alleges that neglect allowed the patient to sexually assault the plaintiff.

One problem for the patient, however, is that the sheriff’s department was never notified of the assault. There is currently no incident report related to sexual assault that was filed within the time period that the assault is alleged to have occurred.

The complaint against the hospital makes two points. The first is a very common allegation against privately run hospitals: That the facility did not have adequate staffing to ensure the safety of the patients. Secondly, the plaintiff alleges that the facility failed to secure the safety of its patients by separating those who had a history of violence against others from those who only had a history of violence against themselves.

A Prior Lawsuit Involved a Staff Member

Prior to the lawsuit involving patient-on-patient violence, there was a suit filed against the Willough that accused one of the nursing staff of unwanted sexual contact. The nurse in question maintained his innocence, but three male patients independently reported unwanted sexual advances. The employee resigned from The Willough hospital. The sheriff’s department conducted a criminal investigation but could not corroborate the claims or verify that there was a criminal element involved.

Talk to a Miami Injury Attorney Today

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault on someone else’s premises, you are entitled to recover damages if you can prove the owner or operator’s negligence contributed to the incident. The Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can help you file a lawsuit and get compensation. Talk to us today to schedule a free consultation.





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