An Illinois continuing care retirement community is facing a lawsuit after an employee allegedly photographed partially nude memory care residents and gave the photos to her boyfriend, who allegedly posted the photos online, including to the CCRC’s own Facebook page.
The lawsuit against Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community in Chenoa, IL, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, was brought by co-administrators of the estate of an unnamed former resident, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph. The complaint maintains that residents’ privacy and dignity were violated.
The suit refers to the individuals suspected of the actions as Jane Doe and John Doe. The media outlet noted, however, that charges of nonconsensual dissemination of sexual images are pending against former Meadows certified nursing assistant Samantha Brown, 29, and Michael Shawn Scurlock, 47.
Jane Doe and other employees allegedly took photos of residents with dementia over the course of a year as the residents were “toileting, bathing, [or] resting in bed,” according to the lawsuit. She reportedly informed the community in March that John Doe had posted the photos, which she had given him, on public websites. Two employees were fired when the CCRC learned of the alleged incidents, Meadows CEO Jay Biere told the Pantagraph.
The Illinois Department of Public Health fined the CCRC $25,000 in July for not protecting residents and not reporting that the unauthorized images had been posted on social media. Meadows reportedly appealed the fine, however, saying that it had contacted authorities and family members of affected residents as soon as it learned of the photographs.
A case management conference for the lawsuit is scheduled for April 6.
Sister publication McKnight’s Long-Term Care News contacted Biere for comment Tuesday but had not heard from him by the production deadline.