The family of a sexual assault victim is suing the employee and facility over the horrific incident. The woman and her daughter filed a lawsuit against Ronald Whisman Jr, Continuing Healthcare of Cuyahoga Falls and the nursing home’s parent company, Continuing Healthcare Solutions Inc. of Middleburg Heights. They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees.
Whisman Jr. was working at Continuing Healthcare of Cuyahoga Falls in June when he had “sexual conduct” with a 68-year-old female patient, according to a Cuyahoga Falls police report. Another employee told police she opened the patient’s door and saw Whisman’s pants down around his ankles, apparently engaging in a sexual act with the woman. Whisman originally denied the allegations, claiming he was changing the patient’s diaper.
He later pleaded guilty in November to two felony counts of sexual battery and a felony count of gross sexual imposition and is serving a five-year sentence at Lorain Correctional Institution, according to Summit County Common Pleas Court and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records. A first-degree felony rape charge was dismissed when he pleaded guilty to the other charges. He’ll also be required to register as a Tier III sex offender, meaning once he is released from prison, he will have to register with the local sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life.
The lawsuit alleges Whisman “was negligent, reckless, willful and/or wanton in sexually assaulting and abusing resident … and defendant Continuing Healthcare, and its employees and/or agents, were negligent, reckless, willful and/or wanton in permitting the sexual assault of [the patient].”
According to the suit, the patient “has been forced to suffer various injuries and damages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental trauma, permanent injury, significant and ongoing medical treatment and expenses, and loss of the enjoyment of life.” The suit cites the Ohio Nursing Home Patients’ Bill of Rights, stating the patient had the right to a safe living environment and appropriate medical treatment and nursing care “and to be free from abuse.”
The suit also alleges Continuing Healthcare and its employees “negligently, recklessly, willfully and/or wantonly ignored warnings and complaints, failed to provide adequate supervision, training, guidance, evaluation, discipline and/or monitoring of their employees,” including Whisman.