Discovery: Nursing Home Employee May Be Deposed Regarding Report of Sexual Assault

September 23, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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A plaintiff may take deposition testimony from a nursing home employee concerning the report she made of a sexual assault committed by one resident against another, according to a July 2016 Pennsylvania Superior Court decision (McLaughlin v. Garden Spot Village, No. 647 MDA 2015, Super. Ct. PA, July 22, 2016). The ruling denies the nursing home's attempt to bar the deposition, which it wished to do on the grounds that deposing the employee would have the effect of discouraging future reports.

The plaintiffs represent the estate of a woman who lived in the same nursing home as a registered sex offender. During their time in the nursing home, the woman was sexually assaulted by the man, who subsequently pled guilty to charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and was sentenced to 8 to 20 years' incarceration. The woman died 10 months after the assault from unrelated causes. Following the assault, the plaintiffs sued the nursing home...

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