A Pennsylvania skilled nursing facility is not at fault for the alleged sexual assault of one of its residents, a U.S. District Court Judge has determined.
That’s because 87-year-old George MacFarlane could not remember the 2014 incident after it occurred, nor was there any physical evidence of his injuries. In the absence of any proof, Judge Susan Paradise Baxter said she had no choice but to side with the Pavilion at Bradford Regional Medical Center.
“The court does not make this finding lightly. What was done to plaintiff is deplorable and heart-wrenching” Baxter wrote in an opinion Wednesday. “Yet, the court has been presented with no evidence in this case to prove that plaintiff was either fully aware of, or adversely affected by, the incident at issue.”
In January 2015, a nursing assistant entered MacFarlane’s room after he cried out, and found his schizophrenic roommate, Richard Knight, touching his genitals. However, the next day, MacFarlane did not recall the attack, and told police that he had slept through the night and felt OK. Later that year, he had one of his testicles removed because of a mass, and later alleged in a January 2017 lawsuit that the assault contributed to the issue. Doctors found no evidence to back up that claim in subsequent medical examinations.
Baxter ruled last week that Bradford Regional Medical Center is entitled to summary judgment. MacFarlane had originally sought unspecified compensation from the hospital-based nursing home for his injuries.