Hospitals are places where the sick go to heal and get better. No one expects to be a victim of a sexual assault while they are ill and in a vulnerable state. Our Bridgeport, Connecticut, residents may find it alarming to learn that recently, a former patient at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport has filed a civil lawsuit against the hospital. According to the lawsuit, the former patient is alleging that a nursing assistant employed by the hospital sexually assaulted him during his stay at the hospital. He is seeking nearly $25 million in damages.

Court documents filed specifically note that sometime in 2014, while the man was hospitalized for over a month due to a life-threatening illness, he awoke one day to the nursing assistant stroking his genitals. The former patient further notes that because of his illness, he was heavily medicated, in a semi-conscious state, vulnerable and unable to defend himself.

Following the alleged incident, the former patient reported the incident and shortly thereafter, the nursing assistant was arrested. In fact, according to reports, the nursing assistant admitted to police that he had sexually abused several other patients during the three years that he was employed with the medical center.

The lawsuit alleges that the medical center was negligent in its hiring, supervision, training and discipline of the employee and allowed him to continue his sexual abuse. St. Vincent’s Medical Center did fire the nursing assistant after their own investigation found enough evidence to suggest that the nursing assistant had acted inappropriately. In fact, reports indicate that the nursing assistant is now facing 4th degree sexual assault charges in this particular case, as well as a 1st degree assault charge in another case at the same hospital. The former patient is seeking compensation for the emotional and mental anguish caused by the assault, among other things.

Source: Hartford Courant, “Former Patient Files Lawsuit Against St. Vincent’s Hospital In Sex Assault Case,” Kelly Glista, Jan. 15, 2015