Patient Sexually Assaulted Multiple Times at Aurora Facility in CA
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Aurora Las Encinas, LLC and Signature Healthcare Service, LLC for dependent adult abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, assault and battery, and fraud. The lawsuit alleges that Brian McCloskey was physically assaulted multiple times by a known violent patient. The facility failed to intervene or prevent the assaults from reoccurring and did not provide proper care to the patient.
In July 2015, Mr. McCloskey was suffering from migraine headaches and had not slept in two days. His brother took him to a Northridge hospital emergency room, where he usually received medication to resolve his headaches. On this occasion, the hospital staff thought Mr. McCloskey was unusually anxious and may have been on drugs, although a blood test showed he was not.
The hospital encouraged him to speak with a psychiatric physician. During his visit with the psychiatric physician, Mr. McCloskey commented, “I’m killing myself trying to get some help here and no one is helping me,” in hopes to convey his frustration. The psychiatric physician placed him on a suicidal hold, and when Mr. McCloskey asked to see another psychiatric physician, his request was denied.
Multiple attempts were made by Mr. McCloskey to explain the misunderstanding to hospital staff and a social worker, but he was forced to stay at the hospital on suicidal watch and the staff barricaded his door to prevent him from leaving.
Mr. McCloskey was admitted to Aurora Las Encinas with a medical history of headaches, degenerative disc disease, back pain, anxiety and panic attacks. Another resident, Joshua Hall, was known to have violent and dangerous propensities. The facility was responsible for implementing care plans to prevent assaults and conducting 24-hour supervision and monitoring of patients like Mr. Hall, but failed to do so.
Throughout his stay, Mr. Hall would rub Mr. McCloskey’s neck without invitation and placed him in a chokehold. Mr. McCloskey managed to break free to notify facility staff of the assaults, but no action was taken to protect him.
Later that night, the staff administered a medication that made Mr. McCloskey extremely groggy, causing him to pass out. Throughout the night, Mr. Hall entered his room without consent, sexually assaulting him multiple times. Mr. McCloskey woke up on four separate occasions to these assaults; however, due to being over-medicated, he would fall back asleep. Finally, after mustering enough strength, Mr. McCloskey managed to push Mr. Hall off of him, fled to staff to notify them about the night’s occurrences and called 911. However, facility staff disconnected his call, stating he was not allowed to call 911. The next day, Mr. McCloskey was discharged from the hospital without an apology or explanation.
“Mr. McCloskey suffered an egregious amount of unlawful conduct at the hands of the facility and hospital,” says attorney Stephen Garcia. “He was sexually assaulted and blatantly ignored. And staff did nothing to prevent these situations.”