The family of an incapacitated woman impregnated by a nursing home worker is seeking $45 million in damages relating to the brutal assault of their child. According to the lawsuit, medical exams show the incapacitated nursing home resident had been raped repeatedly over the course of two decades. In addition to the long-running sexual assaults, it is likely the woman was impregnated by nursing home staffers before the crime made national news earlier this year at Hacienda Healthcare in Arizona.
According to her lawyer, staffers at the healthcare facility were shocked when a 29-year-old patient went into labor last December. The patient, whose name was not released by news organizations, has been severely incapacitated since almost drowning when she was three-years-old. The legal filing describes her medical issues as severely debilitating – “She cannot maintain sitting without assistance. She is unable to stand/walk… [She] does not make eye contact nor does she smile.” She needs assistance for routine daily activities such as showering, using the toilet, and dressing herself.
Nathan Sutherland is currently awaiting trial for sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse. Medical records show that he checked in on the victim more than 1,000 times, including more than 800 times overnight. Understandably, the victim’s family does not believe the responsibility for this atrocity ends with the former staffer who raped their daughter. According to their attorney, neither Hacienda Healthcare nor the state of Arizona fulfilled their obligation to oversee the nursing home. After the woman gave birth to a baby boy who is being raised by her family, Hacienda Healthcare fired its chief executive and one of the victim’s doctors, according to The New York Times. The doctor noticed his patient’s weight gain and choose to restrict her caloric intake so she would not continue to gain weight.
The family is seeking a total of $45 million in compensation from the state of Arizona – $25 million for the victim, and $10 million for each parent. They say their daughter is now cared for by exclusively female staffers and they hope to remove their daughter from Hacienda Healthcare soon. In response to the lawsuit, Arizona pointed towards the slew of investigations and legislation passed in the aftermath of the horrific crime.
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