By Jon Campisi
A certified nursing assistant for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans
Affairs claims in a civil suit against the state agency that she was raped by a resident at the Southeastern Veterans Center where she worked and then thrown threw a glass door by the man, who the plaintiff claims was known to have violent tendencies.
Neyla Fandino, who resides in Philadelphia, alleges in her civil action, which was filed July 25 at the U.S. District Court, that the man attacked her on Aug. 24, 2012.
The man was known to be violent, after having attempted to rape another female employee shortly before his assault on the plaintiff, the suit states, but the defendant took no steps to make sure that other employees, such as Fandino, would be safe from the resident’s behavior of sexually assaulting staff.
The plaintiff claims she was sent into the resident’s room to care for the man despite the fact that her supervisors knew of the man’s violent tendencies.
While the plaintiff was being attacked, the supervising nurse apparently walked into the room and dismissively said “he did not have time for this,” according to the complaint.
“Defendant did not take any steps to assure that the Resident would not try to further harm Plaintiff or anyone else,” the lawsuit reads.
After the plaintiff was instructed to enter the television room where the resident was located, the man again sexually assaulted the woman, this time throwing Fandino right through a glass door, the suit states.
The plaintiff claims she suffered intentional discrimination due to the defendant’s inaction.
The defendant’s conduct toward Fandino was “reckless, willful, wanton, knowing, intentional and/or malicious,” the complaint reads.
The suit contains federal counts of sex discrimination and sexual harassment.
It also accuses the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs of violating the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
Fandino claims to have suffered embarrassment and humiliation, severe emotional distress, lost back and future wages, and lost benefits.
She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, interest, attorney’s fees and costs.
The plaintiff is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Timothy P. Creech. The federal case number is 2:13-cv-04302-JCJ.