A 71-year-old woman has filed a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit against Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center after she was sexually assaulted by a certified nursing assistant (CNA) during her stay at the hospital.
According to Houston news sources and court documents, Paula Alfaro went to the hospital in May of last year suffering from nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. She was treated for gastroenteritis and urinary infection and placed in a room. During her treatment, a CNA charged with changing the woman’s adult diaper sexually assaulted her. Alfaro’s report of the incident and DNA evidence led to the arrest of 40-year-old Manuel Alvarado, who is currently facing sexual assault charges. He has a history of trouble with the law, including assault, drinking and driving, and evading arrest.
Alfaro is suing the hospital for gross negligence. She is seeking damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and medical costs related to the incident. Her Texas medical malpractice attorney stated that she could have been seriously injured during the assault and that the hospital had reported similar sexual assault incidents in the past. Who are they hiring, he asked.
He added that this medical malpractice case once again illustrates issues with current Texas medical malpractice laws – laws that make it difficult for sexual assault victims to collect damages from health care providers who should have prevented such incidents.