Lawsuit filed against Good Sam

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two Twin Cities law firms on Monday filed a lawsuit against the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and four former nursing assistants for allegations of insidious conduct and torture at the nursing home during 2008.

The details of the lawsuit will be made public during a 1 p.m. press conference today at the law offices of Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey in Minneapolis.

During the conference, consumer attorney Jim Carey of Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey, along with nursing home litigation attorney Mark Kosieradzki of the Kosieradzki-Smith Law Firm, will discuss the charges, the accusations and their course of action.

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The lawsuit comes in addition to criminal charges already filed in the case in Freeborn County District Court.

Good Samaritan Society spokesman Mark Dickerson said this morning he heard the lawsuit was filed but has not seen it yet.

He did, however, point out that the state did not site the nursing home from the incidents and essentially exonerated the facility.

Former nursing assistants Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson, who together face 21 criminal charges in Freeborn County District Court regarding the same allegations, are two of the nursing aides named in the suit. The other two are Alicia Heilmann and Kaylee Nash.

A release issued by the law firms stated the four nursing assistants had access to vulnerable residents at the Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea during the course of their job duties.

The four are accused of “striking residents’ breasts, poking residents’ breasts, pinching residents’ nipples, inserting fingers in residents’ mouths until they screamed, rubbing residents’ crotches, inserting a finger into a residents’ rectum, exposing their bare buttocks, sitting with their bare buttocks on the lap of a senior resident, applying red lipstick to a resident’s lip and videotaping the taunting, spitting on a resident, squirting water at a resident and simulating sexual activity with a resident,” according to the release.

The incidents surfaced in May of 2008 and were made public in August of 2008 after the release of a Minnesota Department of Health report that concluded four teenagers were involved in verbal, sexual and emotional abuse of 15 residents at the nursing home.

The alleged incidents occurred at the nursing home from January through May 2008.

The residents suffered from mental degradation conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The nursing assistants no longer work at the facility.

Look to today as details become available.