Can I Sue for Sexual Abuse or Assault by Mental Health Facility or Hospital?

Ellzey & Associates, PLLC recently filed a sexual assault lawsuit against a mental health facility. The nature of this claim under Texas law is medical malpractice; however, other common law and statutory claims may come into play. But because this case involves a health care provider, the claim will likely fall under the purview of Civil Practice & Remedies Code Chapter 74, The Texas Medical Liability Act.

The facts of this case are disturbing, but because of this, they motivate all team members of the firm. This case involves the sexual exploitation of a mentally disabled man by an adult care taker in a Corpus Christi mental health facility.

Our client, SDB, is autistic and bi-polar. He has the functional capacity of a seven-year-old child and also suffers from PTSD because of childhood sexual abuse. As a result of his traumatic childhood experiences, SDB was prone to violent rages. His adoptive mother, therefore, his adoptive mother thought is was best for SDB to place him in an assisted living mental health facility – Four J’s Community Living Center in Corpus Christi.

SDB’s mother placed him in Four J’s as a resident because she believed the staff would provide the care and guidance SDB needed daily. Most importantly SDB’s mother believed Four J’s would be a safe home for SDB led by qualified and caring staff. She was wrong, unfortunately. Soon after SDB was placed in the facility, a female employee began sexually exploiting SDB for her own gratification.

Amazingly, the employee in question had a history of this same type of sexual exploitation, but somehow Four J’s didn’t think to do a background check. Indeed, the employees had been terminated by her previous employer, Corpus Christi State Living Center, in 2019 for sexually exploiting disabled residents. Even the most simple reference check would have revealed this individual was totally unfit to serve as a residential assistant at Four J’s. Now, SDB has to live with additional trauma, trauma he was supposed to be treated for at Four J’s, because Four J’s failed to take the proper precautions to screen applicants.

They will pay the price and change their business practices.

Below is a copy of the Original Petition filed with the Court: