MP900202201In a disturbing ruling an appeals court in Iowa decided that the state had no duty to protect nursing home residents after it placed a sexual predator in the facility.

William Cubbage was a dangerous sexual predator confined in Iowa's treatment program for its most dangerous offenders. However, the state of Iowa petitioned a court to allow it to release the man into a nursing home. Despite finding that Cubbage was still a danger to others a court agreed to the placement.

Cubbage was then seen sexually assaulting a 95-year-old woman at the nursing home. She sued the state claiming that it had a duty to protect the residents of the nursing home from sexual predators it placed in the home. An appeals court recently ruled against the woman's estate.

The Houston Chronicle reported this story in "Court: Iowa had no duty to monitor predator at nursing home."

After the incident Cubbage was removed from the home and confined in a state mental institution.

This is a disturbing case for elder law advocates. Seniors in nursing homes should not be subject to abuse from staff or other residents. In this case a known predator was placed in the nursing home without any plan to supervise him and ensure the safety of other residents.

That was a mistake and a 95-year-old woman had to pay for it. Her estate has indicated that it is considering appealing the matter further to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Reference: Houston Chronicle (March 23, 2016) "Court: Iowa had no duty to monitor predator at nursing home."