Attorneys for Brandon Woods at Alvamar are asking a Douglas County judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a family of a former resident alleging she was sexually assaulted at the retirement center.
The family of Jean S. Allen filed the suit in January alleging that an unnamed nursing aide sexually assaulted Allen, who was 87, on Oct. 20, 2010, in her room and that staff members at the retirement center, 1501 Inverness Drive, acted to conceal it from authorities, her family and medical personnel. Brandon Woods officials have denied the claim and said Allen was well cared for.
“Certainly, the essential factual allegations — including the claim that Mrs. Allen was the victim of a criminal act while at Brandon Woods — will be soundly and vigorously challenged at the appropriate time,” Brandon Woods’ attorney, Kelly A. Ricke, wrote in a memorandum filed in the case. “However, at this juncture in the proceedings the defendants move to dismiss the petition.”
Ricke’s memorandum mentions that the “unknown Brandon Woods employee” was neither arrested nor prosecuted and that Brandon Woods staff members interviewed Allen’s roommate who reported the alleged assault and sent Allen to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for an examination. Douglas County prosecutors have said in January there was no longer an active criminal investigation in the case. Lawrence attorney Bill Skepnek, representing Allen’s family, in the suit alleged that staff members tried to hide the reason for the hospital visit from medical personnel.
Ricke made several legal arguments against the many claims in the suit.
“All plaintiffs’ claims at best relate to alleged medical malpractice,” Ricke wrote. “The plaintiffs have failed to state a cause of action as to any other alleged claims.”
Brandon Woods’ attorneys argue on some claims that Allen’s family members are prohibited from seeking damages under law. In another part of the memorandum, the attorneys argue that the claims the family seeks have abated with Allen’s death because a jury “would have to guess” on the extent and nature of her injuries and personal suffering without her presence or testimony.
According to the suit, Allen’s family later moved her to a different care facility. She died Nov. 26, 2010. Skepnek argued in the suit that Brandon Woods staff members destroyed evidence of a possible sexual assault when they bathed her, but the Brandon Woods attorneys argue the plaintiffs “must include a claim that staff members knew of the ‘evidence’ and allegedly destroyed it with such knowledge in hand.”