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Kosieradzki Smith Case Causes Minnesota Lawmakers to Seek Change

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm / March 2, 2014

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune two state lawmakers are calling on the Minnesota Department of Health to review its investigation into circumstances surrounding the sexual assault of Kosieradzki Smith’s client, an 89-year-old assisted living facility resident.

The Health Department investigated the January 2013 sexual assault early last year and found that the caregiver, and not the facility, was at fault. The legislators, Reps. Tina Liebling of Rochester and Erik Simonson of Duluth, were concerned after hearing about the attack of Kosieradzki Smith’s client.

Liebling, chair of the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee, said Wednesday she had asked the department for more information about how the woman was treated after she reported the assault, as well as why the facility was not cited for abuse or neglect. Liebling added that the Legislature should consider action this session if the inquiry finds gaps in the state’s licensing standards for senior homes.

The two lawmaker’s said that Kosieradzki Smith’s client may have suffered unnecessary trauma because of failures in care in the days that she was sexually assaulted by caregiver. The victim was held against her will for nearly three days in a locked psychiatric ward of St. Luke’s hospital.

The Health Department initiated an investigation 10 days after the assault, finding that Merzwski “did not follow professional standards in exercising professional judgment when [he] had sexual intercourse with the client.” The facility was cited only for failing to immediately report the abuse; it did not notify local authorities until two days after the rape.

The Star Tribune report reveals that this incident was not the only time that The facility was cited. The assisted living facility was cited by the MDH for not immediately reporting an incident of harm, in which a resident was found lying on the pavement in a pool of blood.

Liebling said she wants to know whether the agency has “enough tools at their disposal” to hold senior care facilities accountable in abuse cases. “If it requires legislative action,” she said, “then we will take a look at doing that.”

Kosieradzki Smith’s case has caused an uproar of angry citizens regarding the sexual assault.To read more about this case see the articles below:

Star Tribune

New York Daily News

Huffington Post

Duluth News Tribune

Brainerd Dispatch

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care, including the failure to protect vulnerable adults from sexual abuse. If your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.