Is the Nursing Home Liable for Resident to Resident Aggression or Assault?

May 14, 2018 | Crandall & Pera Law
Is the Nursing Home Liable for Resident to Resident Aggression or Assault?

When you think about nursing home negligence, resident-to-resident abuse might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is a prevalent issue affecting nursing home and assisted living residents throughout the United States. The National Consumer Voice for Long-Term Care conducted a prevalence study on Resident-to-Resident Elder Mistreatment in Nursing Homes. The study defines resident-to-resident elder mistreatment in this way:

"Negative physical, sexual, or verbal interactions between long-term care residents that in a community setting would likely be construed as unwelcome and have high potential to cause physical or psychological distress in the recipient."

In looking at the mistreatment of elders by their fellow residents, the study highlighted the story of Laura Lindquist, 98, who was indicted the strangling and suffocation of nursing home roommate Elizabeth Barrow, 100.

Examples of resident-to-resident elder mistreatment (RREM)

Some of the incidents reported in the study include the following examples of abusive behavior:

Verbal abuse:



Verbal threats


Physical abuse:





Sexual abuse:

Unwelcome verbal sexual advances

Exposing self

Touching/kissing/trying to get in bed


Other abusive occurrences:

Throwing things

Destroying property

Threatening gestures



The research study named the following as risk factors for RREM:

  • Residents with cognitive impairments

  • Residents with behavioral symptoms related to their cognitive impairment

  • Residents with a history of aggressive behavior and/or negative interactions with others

The study recommended that nursing facilities should do the following to help prevent resident-to-resident elder mistreatment:

  • Develop a comprehensive care plan that provides individualized, resident-centered care.

  • Identify residents with risk factors, prepare a care plan to meet their needs and monitor their movements

  • Identify and address the root causes of behavioral symptoms and address them

  • Provide adequate staffing

  • Train the staff

  • Identify and change environmental influences on behavior

Kentucky law requires the mandatory reporting of elder abuse or neglect. If you should witness any signs of physical abuse or neglect, signs of mistreatment, or if you find evidence of financial exploitation, you can report what you have seen to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services at 1-877-597-2331.

In Ohio, you can report elder neglect or abuse to Adult Protective Services at: 1-855-OHIO-APS (1-855-644-6277) toll-free 24/7.

If you have a loved one who you suspect is being neglected or abused by other residents or by nursing home staff, you can consult with a nursing home neglect lawyer from Crandall & Pera today.

Crandall & Pera Law handles nursing home neglect and abuse cases. Our attorneys have the compassion, skills, and resources to support your fight for justice. To learn more about our services, or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form now.