It is shocking to hear, but resident on resident assaults in long term care facilities (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, independent living) are frequent occurrences.

Consider, where else do you have strangers, with physical, mental and psychiatric problems, on a myriad of different medications with side effects, living under the same roof without locked doors and security?

Even college dorm rooms have locks.

We have represented families who have suffered great loss as a result of resident on resident assaults – physical and sexual.

Is the nursing home liable for the assaults? Maybe.

If the facility knew or should have known this resident was a danger to others, and they did not remove the resident or protect others, than they could be liable for the acts of another resident.

If it is a first time assault and there were no known predictions or signs – it is difficult to prove knowledge of the danger and therefore duty to protect from the danger.

Dan wrote a blog this week about sexual predators in nursing homes. It happens. Sometimes, medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia make people more aggressive and unaware of their activities, but that is no excuse if the behavior could be prevented.

If your loved one has been a victim of a resident assault we are happy to assist your family in evaluation and prosecution of the case.


Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at