Lawsuit: 19-Year-Old Sexually Assaulted at Florida Hospital
According to a very disturbing report from the Tampa Bay Times, a 19-year-old Florida woman was sexually assaulted after being involuntarily committed to a Tampa area hospital. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by one of the employees of the facility. That man, Frank Lasso, was arrested and charged with a sex crime in relation to the attack. The victim and family have filed a civil sexual assault lawsuit against the hospital on the grounds of premises liability and negligence.
Staff Member Assaulted Vulnerable Patient at Tampa Community Hospital
The victim, who is anonymous, was involuntarily admitted to Tampa Community Hospital in 2018. The report states that she was being evaluated under Florida’s Baker Act—which gives authorities the ability to conduct mental health assessments of vulnerable people. At the time, she was under round-the-clock surveillance to protect her from potential self harm. The Tampa Bay Times reports that she was held at the facility for approximately five days.
During that time, the patient was allegedly sexually assaulted by a staff member of the facility. The hospital that was supposed to keep her safe allegedly exposed her to a dangerous individual. A civil sexual assault lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County names a former employee of the facility (Mr. Lasso) and the Tampa Community Hospital as defendants. The plaintiffs argue that the hospital knew or should have known that this man was dangerous. Notably, the former employee was criminally charged in relation to the assault.
Hospitals, Health Providers, and Other Facilities Have a Duty to Protect Patients
Based on the accounts included in the report from the Tampa Bay Times, the hospital was cooperative with law enforcement during the criminal investigation. However, that fact by no means absolves a defendant from culpability. Third parties can be held legally responsible for the criminal conduct of an employee, customer, or other perpetrator.
Hospitals, health providers and other similar facilities have a legal obligation to protect their patients from safety threats. Among other things, this includes protecting patients from dangerous employees. Companies or organizations should have proper screening protocols and oversight in place to ensure that vulnerable people are not subject to an attack.
In this case, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit on the legal grounds that the Tampa Community Hospital did not have adequate procedures in place to protect the health and safety of the victim. They are seeking a jury trial and financial compensation for severe emotional and psychological trauma suffered by the victim.
Call Our Miami, FL Sexual Assault & Battery Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami sexual assault & battery lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and legal experience to represent victims in civil sexual assault and battery claims. Negligent employers, businesses, and organizations must be held accountable for their actions or inactions. Our attorneys handle these cases with the highest degree of care, sensitivity, and compassion. Call us now for a free, strictly private initial consultation. We represent victims in Miami, West Palm Beach, and around the surrounding areas.