An Oldham County nursing home with previous sexual assault and abuse allegations is closing at the end of January, according to a statement from the facility.
The nursing home, Friendship Health & Rehab, located in Pewee Valley, will close on Jan. 29 as a result of the costs associated with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made on Dec. 29.
The facility is looking to relocate current residents. According to Alex Bruenderman, director of business development, officials “have made the difficult decision to the close facility. We have been fighting this pandemic for almost nine months now and the costs and challenges associated with it have simply been overwhelming.”
Licensed for 128 residents, the facility has had 101 residents test positive for the coronavirus, resulting in 20 deaths. Nearly 50 staff members have also tested positive.
Last year, Friendship Health was sued by nine former employees and a former residents’ family over allegations of sexual harassment and abuse involving a former nursing assistant. The workers alleged that the nursing assistant, Richard Coleman, groped workers at work, made sexual comments and threats, and sexually abused a female patient.
Numerous complaints were submitted to the managers at the facility, but nothing was done for eight months and Coleman’s conduct continued. Coleman was fired in mid-2018 and charged in August 2018 with sexual abuse of a former co-worker. According to court records, Coleman was offered a plea agreement to reduce charged and placed inn a diversion program through July 2021.
As a result of the sexual assault allegations, the state fined Friendship Health more than $260,000 for putting residents’ lives in jeopardy. This was after the Inspector General for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services conducted an investigation, which concluded the facility had violated its own policies about abuse and harassment and failed to properly address accusations.
While the facility disagrees with some of the state’s findings, it has taken steps to correct problems and improve its responses to abuse allegations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on nursing homes around the country. The facility in Oldham is not the only location closing its doors, leaving an uncertain future for many senior citizens. If you believe your loved one has wrongfully suffered in a long-term care facility, Thomas Law Offices is here to help. We’ll explain your legal rights and options and help you determine how best to proceed based on your family’s circumstances.