The Nova Scotia Department of Community Services reports that a 56-year-old man was seriously injured in an apparent assault at a special care home. The incident occurred at the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville, and police say that the victim is in life-threatening condition.
This is not the first such incident that has occurred at the facility. Sources indicate that one resident died in 2010 after gaining access to a medicine room and drinking the drugs that were found there. In addition, the parent of one resident says that her autistic son suffered injuries in an assault at the facility in February 2014, and another claims that her own son was once choked by another resident during an outing from Quest.
Authorities in this case are particularly concerned because it took Quest four days to report the incident to police; RCMP says that although the incident happened on May 11, they were not notified until the following Thursday. The matter, which could constitute a form of medical malpractice, is now being investigated by the Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP Major Crime Unit.
Although many families entrust their loved ones to special care facilities, it can be difficult to know what happens behind closed doors. Failing to take adequate security measures to protect their residents may open these facilities up to civil liability in the event that an incident occurs.
If the investigation reveals that the staff acted negligently toward the patients under their care, the victims and their families could be entitled to seek compensation from those responsible. Facilities like Quest are required to adhere to various government regulations in order to maintain their licenses and continue their operations.
Source: CBC News, “Police probe serious assault at Quest care facility“, May 16, 2014