clearn.png
Sunday October 20th, 2019 11:09PM

Family of incapacitated woman who was raped blames Arizona

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHOENIX (AP) — The parents of an incapacitated woman who was raped and later gave birth at a Phoenix long-term care center alleges in a $45 million legal claim that the facility and state broke their promise to have only female caregivers tend to their daughter.

A nurse charged with sexually assaulting the 30-year-old patient had cared for her more than 1,000 times in the 13 months leading up to the birth, according to an expert cited in the claim filed Wednesday against Arizona.

Many of Nathan Sutherland's encounters with the patient at Hacienda HealthCare occurred overnight, when fewer staff members and visitors were around, said Christopher Cherney, a professor with more than 20 years of experience as a long-term care facility administrator who reviewed the woman's medical records.

The family alleges in the precursor to a lawsuit that Hacienda missed dozens of signs that the woman was carrying a baby and discovered the pregnancy only after another nurse saw the boy's head. The patient, who has a feeding tube and whose nutrition was reduced in response to her weight gain during the pregnancy, delivered the boy while severely dehydrated and without pain medications, the claim said.

The family's lawyers say the woman suffered injuries from repeated sexual assault. Notes from the hospital where she was treated say her injuries suggest it wasn't her first pregnancy, but no other details were provided.

The surprise birth on Dec. 29 triggered reviews by state agencies, highlighted safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated and prompted the resignations of Hacienda's chief executive and one of the victim's doctors.

A spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, which oversaw the woman's care, did not return a message seeking comment. Hacienda spokesman David Leibowitz and Sutherland's lawyer, Edwin Molina, declined to comment.

Representatives from Hacienda and the state had told the woman's parents that their daughter would have only female caregivers, the claim said. Documents from the Department of Economic Security note that only female staff members should provide her personal care, such as bathing and dressing.

Cherney, the expert for the family, said Sutherland conducted safety checks, administered medications and wrote notes on the woman's status during his many encounters with her.

Investigators say Sutherland's DNA matched a sample from the woman's son, who is being cared for by her family.

Sutherland has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse and abuse of a vulnerable adult. He is challenging a court order requiring tests to see whether he has HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

The victim began suffering seizures at 2 months old and her medical conditions stem from a brain disorder diagnosed afterward, family attorney John Micheaels said. The disorder caused motor and cognitive impairments and vision loss. She was also left with no functional use of her limbs.

News organizations, including The Associated Press, previously reported that she was in long-term care after a near-drowning.

Despite her disabilities, her family says she responds to some sensory stimuli. She turns her head toward sounds she finds pleasing like soft music or being read to, the claim said. She can groan and smile. Despite being non-verbal, she will cry and make "throaty sounds" if she is feeling pain or discomfort.

The claim said that Arizona has a duty to provide services to people with developmental disabilities by contracting with companies like Hacienda and that the state did a poor job of monitoring its operations.

While the claim heavily criticizes Hacienda and Sutherland, it seeks money only from the state.

It said Hacienda missed 83 opportunities to diagnose the woman's pregnancy. She gained weight, had a swollen belly and missed menstrual periods in the months before the child was born.

The family's lawyers said a simple blood test would have revealed the pregnancy.

___

Follow Terry Tang on Twitter at twitter.com/ttangAP and Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Health, AP Business, AP Health - Women's health, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care, AP Business - Small Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies
President Donald Trump is directing the U.S. intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Attorney General William Barr's investigation of the origins of the multi-year probe of whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
9:13PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Family of incapacitated woman who was raped blames Arizona
The parents of an incapacitated woman who was raped and later gave birth at a Phoenix long-term care center says the facility and state broke their promise to have only female caregivers tend to their daughter
9:06PM ( 11 minutes ago )
US withdraws train crew proposal that came after explosions
The Trump administration is withdrawing a proposal for freight trains to have at least two crew members
8:59PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
GOP, Democrats team up to address surprise medical bills
Senior senators from both parties release draft legislation to address 'surprise medical bills'
3:44PM ( 5 hours ago )
UN health agency seeks to halve number of snakebite deaths
The World Health Organization is publishing its first-ever global strategy to tackle the problem of snake bites, aiming to halve the number of people killed and disabled by snakes by 2030
12:16PM ( 9 hours ago )
Flu outbreak sickens over 30 migrants at border center
More than 30 migrants have tested positive for influenza at a major processing center on the Mexican border that was temporarily closed to stop the outbreak
7:53PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Health
FAA chief upbeat about prospects for Boeing 737 Max's return
After an all-day meeting with global aviation regulators, the chief of the Federal Aviation Administration sounded more upbeat than ever about prospects for clearing the troubled Boeing 737 Max to fly again
8:27PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Modi surges to victory in India on Hindu-first platform
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party is headed to a landslide election victory
8:20PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Trade impasse: Trump pledges $16B to farmers; markets slump
Trump administration prepares another $16 billion in aid for farmers hurt by trade wars
8:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Harris, Gillibrand offer plans to bolster maternal care
Two Democratic women running for president have unveiled plans to improve maternal health care
11:24AM ( 1 day ago )
Nevada lawmakers close to repealing tough abortion rules
Nevada lawmakers are bucking a national trend of anti-abortion laws by voting to repeal requirements that physicians document a pregnant woman's marital status and tell her about the "emotional implications" of an abortion
1:24AM ( 1 day ago )
Mississippi abortion law 'smacks of defiance,' US judge says
A federal judge is indicating that he is likely to block a Mississippi law that will ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected
8:04PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Health - Women's health
Bank CEO charged with trying to trade loans for Trump post
A banker who prosecutors say tried to trade loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to get a post in the president's administration has been arrested on a financial institution bribery charge
3:15PM ( 6 hours ago )
Senior German diplomat in Tehran for nuclear deal talks
German envoy in Tehran to press Iran to continue to abide by the landmark nuclear deal despite US pullout, sanctions
1:47PM ( 7 hours ago )
US long-term mortgage rates slip; 30-year average at 4.06%
U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell slightly this week, marking a fourth straight week of declines to lure prospective purchasers in the spring homebuying season
12:45PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Lilly selling half-price version of popular Humalog insulin
A half-price version of Eli Lilly's popular Humalog insulin is now available under the name Insulin Lispro, after the drugmaker promised a more affordable option amid soaring insulin prices.
6:45AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Police chief says 6 reported dead in Indonesia
Indonesian police say based on reports from hospitals six people have died in rioting in Jakarta a day after the presidential election results were announced
3:29AM ( 1 day ago )
Oregon hunts for bodies at ex-asylum seen in 'Cuckoo's Nest'
Oregon will use ground-penetrating radar to search for bodies buried on a campus of the former psychiatric hospital where the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was filmed
4:40PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
NASA's first-of-kind tests look to manage drones in cities
NASA has launched the final stage of a four-year effort to develop a national traffic management system for drones, testing them in cities for the first time beyond the operator's line of sight
5:12PM ( 4 hours ago )
NASA's first-of-kind tests look to manage drone in cities
NASA has launched the final stage of a four-year effort to develop a national traffic management system for drones, testing them in cities for the first time beyond the operator's line of sight
3:05PM ( 6 hours ago )
Colorado won't halt drilling as it refocuses rules on safety
Colorado officials say they have no plans to stop energy companies from drilling for oil and gas while regulators overhaul state rules to focus on health, safety and the environment
7:15PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Small Business
Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies
President Donald Trump is directing the U.S. intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate" with Attorney General William Barr's investigation of the origins of the multi-year probe of whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia.
9:13PM ( 4 minutes ago )
US withdraws train crew proposal that came after explosions
The Trump administration is withdrawing a proposal for freight trains to have at least two crew members
8:59PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Watch out: Protocol pitfalls abound as Trump heads abroad
Watch out: Potential protocol pitfalls abound as Trump heads abroad, with state visits to Japan and the UK on calendar
8:55PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Serial killer who took 10 women's lives executed in Florida
A serial killer who terrorized Florida with a 1984 spree that claimed 10 women has been executed, his lethal injection witnessed by the woman who survived one of his attacks and aided in his capture
8:55PM ( 22 minutes ago )
India's Modi paints image of Hindu ascetic called to power
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constructed an image as a pious man of the people and transformed India's elections from a political contest into a cult of personality fueled by a social media blitzkrieg
8:49PM ( 29 minutes ago )