Nursing Home Litigation, Sexual Assault: Alcoy v. Valley Nursing Homes, Inc., 272 Va. 37 (Va. 2006)

Resident, 79 years old, was admitted to nursing home following a stroke. She was unable to communicate verbally and was incapable of making decisions. Four days after admission, she was sexually assaulted, suffering vaginal bleeding and tearing. Her assailant was not identified. She died eight months later. Suit was brought for negligence, sexual assault and battery. Defendant filed a motion in limine contending that any torts committed during residents stay must be considered malpractice and that evidence be limited to the issue of whether malpractice occurred. The trial court granted the motion, finding that the nursing home’s conduct was within the scope of the malpractice act. On appeal, the court reversed, finding that the alleged omissions did not involve the provision of health care or professional services as contemplated by the Act. Instead, the alleged omissions involved administrative, personnel, and security decisions related to the operation of the Woodbine facility, rather than to the care of any particular patient. Decided: June 8, 2006.

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