Garcia & Artigliere Files Lawsuit Against San Joaquin Valley Rehab Hospital for Elder Abuse and Sexual Assault

Suit alleges Fresno Hospital and its staff engaged in elder abuse, sexual assault, negligence and fraud

FRESNO, CA – Elder abuse law firm Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital (located at 7173 North Sharon Ave in Fresno, CA), its parent company Vibra Healthcare, LLC, and Hospital administrator Edward Palacios, as well as numerous staff members alleging elder abuse, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, fraud, assault and battery on behalf of patient Mary Haven. The lawsuit alleges Ms. Haven was sexually assaulted by a certified male nurse who had been known to have poor performance issues and dangerous aggressive propensities. The Hospital failed to report the incident as required by law. The suit also alleges that patients of the Hospital received improper care due to insufficient staffing and training in order to increase profitability.

“The Hospital and its administrators have a legal obligation to ensure the adequate care and safety of their patients,” said Stephen M. Garcia, founding partner of Garcia & Artigliere. “The atrocious sexual assault Ms. Haven experienced under their supervision demonstrates an absence of legal and moral responsibility.”

Background

On October 6, 2014, Ms. Haven was admitted to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital to receive catheter care following a right femur fracture surgery. On October 14, a male nurse came into Ms. Haven’s room and whispered into her ear, “You’re beautiful”, then proceeded to kiss Ms. Haven on the lips and place her hand on his clothed genital area. After claiming he needed to remove her catheter, the male nurse inappropriately touched Ms. Haven’s genital area and quickly exited the room when someone else entered. The nurse who committed the sexual assault was subsequently arrested.
After the sexual assault occurred, Ms. Haven was moved to an isolated room without consulting her family. Once in the isolated room, Ms. Haven was informed that she would receive 24-hour supervision, yet staff members neglected to answer her calls when she needed to use the restroom, forcing her to make her own way without assistance. In addition to the negligent treatment Ms. Haven received while in isolation, the Hospital failed to meet its legally mandated obligation to report the occurrence to the Department of Public Health.