Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Nursing homes should be required to run a Criminal Background to make sure they are not Criminals or sexual predators to put others in a high Risky otherwise they should be liable. This man had been arrested 58 times and twice as other sex crimes.
Jury Awards $750,000 In Nursing Home Rape Case.
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- It has been four long years for Sandra Banning since her mother was raped.
"I was with mother, had to tell her she had been raped, had to take her to the sexual response center to be examined. I held her hand while she cried," says Banning.
But she says today there is justice.
"I'm elated, I'm so happy, when I heard guilty it made my world."
Four years ago Sandra's mother, 77-year-old Virginia Thurston was a patient here at Southwood Nursing Center.
Police say while Virginia was asleep nurses walked in and found 83-year-old Ivey Edwards, another patient, in her room on top of her.
Edwards was charged with rape.
Sandra later found out he had been arrested 58 other times dating back to 1945, and was convicted twice of other sex crimes.
"If I had any idea that man, that monster, I can't even call him a man, was there, I wouldn't have let momma be there," says Banning.
Edwards is now in a mental hospital.
Sandra sued Southwood for negligence for not telling the other patients about Edwards' past.
Now a jury returned a verdict in her favor, awarding $750,000.
A spokesman for Southwood's parent company Sterling Healthcare tells First Coast News, "we were really surprised, we didn't think the case had much value. It was of an explosive nature, but we did everything we could."
"Even though it still hurts me deeply what she went through, I feel the verdict from yesterday will give us more fuel to go forward with a change," says Banning.
Sandra's mother passed away in 2003, but Sandra plans to push for a change in the law.
She wants nursing homes to be required to check patients' backgrounds and make sure they are not violent or sexual offenders.