Last year, several nurses at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina walked in on nurse’s aide Douglas Steven Little sexually assaulting an elderly resident suffering from dementia. Little, a 10 year employee of Lake Park Nursing & Rehab, admitted to the assault and is now serving a 19 year prison sentence. After the news of Little’s crime broke, other Lake Park families began coming forward with similar allegations of rape and assault of their loved ones.
An affidavit by a former Lake Park Nursing & Rehab nurse states that in 2012, the facility was made aware of sexual assaults committed by Douglas Steven Little and covered them up from victim’s families. The affidavit was included as part of a lawsuit filed by the daughter of another alleged victim of Little’s. The woman’s daughter, Annette Foster, says her mother was a dementia resident who spent two years at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation before her death. She says that after the news of Little broke, she began examining her mother’s medical records and coupled with the behaviors she observed in her mother before her death, she is certain that she was assaulted on multiple occasions and strongly believes it was by Douglas Steven Little. While her mother was still a patient, Foster knew something was amiss after her mother reported being raped on two separate occasions. She requested that only female staff members treat and visit with her mother and despite the request, she still saw Little wandering around the dementia unit.
Another lawsuit filed on behalf of Janie Winchester, also a deceased former resident of the dementia unit at Lake Park, describes a nearly identical set of circumstances. The family of Ms. Winchester had their suspicions based on her physical condition, as well as her changed behavior and the behavior of Douglas Steven Little and now are certain that he sexually assaulted their now-deceased mother. Ms. Winchester’s daughter said she arrived for a visit and found her mother’s door closed and Little sitting on the bed with his arm around her.
Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Part of a Large Chain
Lake Park is co-owned by a large nursing home conglomerate, Principle Long Term Care & Principle IT. The chain operates over 40 nursing facilities in North Carolina, over half of which are ranked poor quality according to the 5-star rating system owned by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). Lake Park is a Specialty Focus Facility (SFF) according to CMS. As we covered in a previous post, SFF facilities are rare and indicate serious deficiencies in the care provided and the safety of residents. There are only two facilities that received an SFF classification in the state of North Carolina. There are 79 such facilities in the country, 3 of which are in the state of Illinois.
The companies also staffs a large number of Work Opportunity Tax Credit employees, many of which are former felons, to take advantage of significant tax deductions from the government.
Leaders in the Fight Against Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The nursing home abuse attorneys of Levin & Perconti are recognized as leaders in the fight against elder abuse. The firm has secured settlements and verdicts in excess of $160 million for the victims and families of those who have suffered from nursing home abuse and neglect. If you or a loved one have been the victim of neglect, sexual or any other form of abuse, please contact us for a free consultation. Our attorneys will help you decide if you have reason to pursue action.
The 2017 Special Focus Facility Initiative list can be viewed in its entirety here.
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