California Hospital Faces Sexual Abuse Lawsuit-Third Abuse Lawsuit in Two Years

hospitalOnce again California’s Cottage Health System is facing a sexual abuse lawsuit. Criminal charges have already been filed against nursing assistant Pedro Hernandez who stands accused of sexually abusing a 69-year-old disabled male patient who had suffered a stroke. The sexual abuse occurred more than once between 2012 and 2014 at Cottage Hospital in Goleta Valley. Subsequently, he pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of battery and will serve three years of probation and his license to work as a certified nursing assistant was revoked by the California Department of Public Health, and he is prohibited from volunteering or working with patients in health care and with the elderly.

According to local news, “the plaintiffs are suing Cottage Health System for negligence and fraud, given that Cottage didn’t fire Hernandez when allegations of sexual misconduct against him first surfaced in 2010. These early allegations resulted in Hernandez and the Cottage defendants becoming the subjects of a 2011 civil suit claiming inappropriate sexual behavior by Hernandez toward another male patient. (That 2011 case reportedly concluded in a confidential settlement.) The new suit also claims negligence for Cottage’s failure to inform Manuel T.’s family of possible wrongful conduct by Hernandez.”

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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