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TOPIC: NHC ...Liable For Employee's Actions?
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NHC ...Liable For Employee's Actions? 8 Years ago Karma: 0  
It is an area of law that is not crystal clear. Are employers liable for the actions of their employee if the employee is committing a crime while on duty? Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no. In this case, NHC officials, or at least on-site administrators, appear to have had knowledge. If that is true, then NHC will be in trouble! Read further about this case that is ongoing.

James William Wright, a one time nurse's aide for NHC, chose his female victims of alleged rape and sexual abuse for a simple reason: They were elderly stroke victims who could not speak of the horrors, according to a witness and an attorney representing some of the victims.

Authorities in Bristol, Va., indicted and arrested Wright, a former nurse's aide, for an alleged serial string of sexual assaults of helpless, elderly women at a nursing home facility owned by Murfreesboro-based National Healthcare Corporation. NHC is the same company that ran the Nashville nursing home where 16 residents died in a 2003 fire.

The four-count indictment for aggravated sexual battery says Wright's alleged reign of abuse at the Bristol facility, which sits on the Tennessee line, began in 2000 and went through August 2007.

Patricia Davenport, also a nurse's aide, said she witnessed some of Wright's abuse. She said she cooperated with state investigators. Davenport told of two instances of sexual abuse.

One involved Wright allegedly fondling the breasts of woman while she was in a wheelchair. The other involved a blind woman who was bedridden. Wright was molesting her as he masturbated, Davenport said.

Davenport said she alerted management above her, but to her knowledge nothing was ever done.

"It was appalling," Davenport said. "It was awful. It was perverted and stupid and nasty. They didn't do anything about it."

Parke Morris, who represents two of the victims in the indictment, said it's one of the darkest cases he has ever encountered. For years, Wright raped, molested and sexually abused women at the facility, and the company failed to act in the face of evidence brought to its attention, Morris said.

All told, Wright abused as many as 11 women, and probably more, Morris said. Morris is representing nine victims and their families, and he plans to bring suit against officials in the company in coming weeks. Some cases have already been resolved.

"This is the worst thing I've ever seen in terms of corporate cover-up," Morris said. "We think it goes fairly high in the company."

Morris said that by the end of Wright's tenure as a nurse's aide at the Bristol facility, he was not allowed in the rooms of as many as seven women. In fact, for some women, the sight of Wright brought terror that they could not articulate with words, Morris said.

"Things got completely out of control," Morris said. "Women would scream when he entered the room."

Authorities offered few details beyond what was in the official indictment handed down Tuesday by a grand jury in Virginia.

"It's an ongoing investigation and a pending prosecution," said David Clementson, a spokesman with the attorney general's office.

If your loved one is in a nursing home facility and has any form of abuse occur, call the Law Office of Andrew Farmer at (865)428-6737 for a free consultation. You are paying for them to care for your loved one, not abuse them.
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