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Patient suit: Hospital ignored worker's history of sexual assault

Hospitals have a duty to make their premises reasonably safe for patients. This includes ensuring that its employees can competently perform their jobs and are safe to be around patients who may be in a vulnerable state.

According to a lawsuit filed on Monday, a hospital failed to meet this duty by allowing a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to remain on its staff, despite a history of sexual assault allegations against him.

The hospital negligence lawsuit against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center describes how the aforementioned CNA offered the female patient a back rub. Weak and suffering intense pain, the patient accepted but the nursing assistant's hands soon moved to her breasts and crotch - despite her protests.

The CNA has a history of alleged sexual misconduct, including allegedly raping a coworker after an office party. At least two other patients have allegedly been assaulted by the nursing assistant.

With this troubling history of alleged misconduct, it is alarming that the hospital would keep this man on staff. It is particularly disturbing that he was trusted with post-surgery patients who are particularly vulnerable.

For this reason, the hospital will likely share liability for the harm should the patient's allegations prove true.

Source: LA Times, "Former Patient Accuses Cedars-Sinai Of Negligence In Lawsuit," Jack Leonard, April 7, 2014

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