‘Punched, kicked, grabbed, and brushed up towards’—nurse’s husband sues her employer after she was strangled on the job

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The husband of a Connecticut visiting nurse who was killed throughout an appointment with a convicted rapist filed a wrongful loss of life lawsuit Monday, alleging her employer repeatedly ignored employees’ security issues about treating harmful sufferers.

Ronald Grayson sued Elara Caring, its affiliated firms and others over the killing of his spouse, Joyce Grayson, a 63-year-old mom of six who was discovered useless within the basement of a midway home in Willimantic on Oct. 28. She was strangled and suffered a number of blunt drive accidents, authorities mentioned. Elara Caring, primarily based in Dallas, Texas, denies the allegations.

“For years prior to October 28, 2023, employees of Elara Caring affiliates experienced multiple, repeated instances in which they were verbally, physically and sexually harassed, assaulted, attacked, yelled at, chased, threatened, punched, kicked, grabbed and brushed up against by mentally unstable and/or violent patients of Elara Caring,” in accordance with the lawsuit, which seeks undisclosed damages.

As an alternative of addressing nurses’ issues, the lawsuit alleges, the corporate inspired workers to give attention to rising profitability whereas nurses had been “chastised, shamed and gaslit, led to believe that they were overreacting.” Employees had been “required to treat patients who were dangerous, mentally unstable and, frequently, unsuitable for home health care services,” the lawsuit says.

The go well with, filed in Middletown Superior Courtroom, additionally accuses the corporate of failing to implement a coverage permitting escorts or different workers to accompany nurses after they go to probably harmful shoppers.

“Joyce Grayson’s death was entirely preventable and those who failed to protect her from a violent offender should be held accountable,” mentioned Kelly Reardon, a lawyer for Grayson’s household.

Elara Caring referred to as the allegations “unwarranted” in a press release launched Monday. The corporate says it gives residence look after greater than 60,000 sufferers in 17 states.

Joyce Grayson had an appointment to manage remedy to Michael Reese that morning. Reese, who was on probation after serving 14 years in jail for stabbing and sexually assaulting a girl in 2006 in New Haven, is charged with homicide and different crimes within the nurse’s loss of life. His legal professionals haven’t returned messages in search of remark.

Elara repeated earlier feedback it made saying Connecticut officers decided Reese was not a hazard to the neighborhood and had been answerable for monitoring and managing his actions.

“Elara Caring provided services only after Connecticut’s Department of Correction, Board of Pardons and Parole, and the Judicial branch determined it was safe to put Reese back into the community,” the assertion mentioned. “Joyce Grayson was a trusted friend, colleague, and mentor. We remain devastated and angered by her loss.”

The killing spurred a name for better protections for residence well being care employees in Connecticut and throughout the nation. Connecticut lawmakers at the moment are contemplating a invoice that will enhance security for well being care employees.

Grayson’s household can be asking for permission to sue the state Judicial Department, which oversees probation, and the Division of Correction for $25 million in reference to their oversight of Reese. The Judicial Department declined to remark and the Correction Division didn’t return messages. Individuals who wish to sue the state want approval of the claims commissioner’s workplace and the legislature.

The lawsuit additionally names The Connection, which runs a neighborhood therapy program on the midway home the place Grayson was killed. The supplier declined to touch upon the lawsuit’s allegations.

“The death of Joyce Grayson was a senseless crime, and The Connection continues to mourn her immeasurable loss,” it mentioned in a press release. “We will let the legal process address the root causes of this tragedy.”

Final week, the federal Occupational Security and Well being Administration proposed fining Elara Caring about $161,000 after discovering the corporate failed to guard Grayson.

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