Q: While a patient at a med facility, our child was assaulted by other patient, then refused treatment. Is facility liable?
Our child was checked into a residential program and threatened with violence by other patients almost immediately.
She reported it to me; I informed staff who said they were aware (but hadn't told me).
I informed manager and another staff member after further reports of safety concerns made by my child.
Within that week she was assaulted, punched and kicked by an older patient.
I called police and requested discharge for safety reasons.
The facility then refused to accept the assault victim back into prior-given levels of care (day treatment, online) with no clinical rationale offered.
They denied any negligence on the part of staff for not keeping bullies away from our child after repeated warnings, which led to one of them being able to assault our child.
Now she no longer has access to the care she needed, because she was a victim of a crime. This seems highly unethical and we would like to sue the facility, but do not have funds raised yet for legal fees.
A: I'm sorry for the terrifying ordeal experienced by your daughter. This is something an Oregon attorney could advise best on, but you await a response for three weeks. You indicate not having funds for legal fees. What you describe does not appear to be a case (if validated) that an attorney would charge you legal fees up front for. Cases of this type tend to be handled on a contingency basis. This means that if your daughter was to prevail in a trial or settlement, any attorney fees would typically be a percentage agreed upon. Attorneys who handle such cases also tend to offer free initial consults. Reach out to Oregon attorneys and ask for a free consultation and ask about a contingency-based handling of the matter - that's between you and the attorneys you contact.
I'm fairly confident attorneys would offer you a free initial consult. Move quickly. Evidence in the form of surveillance tends to be fleeting in nature and data that captures the event can easily be re-written over. I hope your daughter was not badly injured, but a medical evaluation would see to it that she is okay, and of secondary importance, it would substantiate her account of the attack.
In summary, do not hesitate based on not having funds to pay an attorney fee up front - that could be a non-issue if an attorney accepts the case on a contingency basis.
Good luck to your daughter in healing from this.
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