OAKLAND -- A 22-year-old woman who was puirportedly sexually assaulted by a Washington Hospital nurse while unconscious in the emergency room filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the hospital and the nurse.
The lawsuit was filed almost six months after Jon Jeffrey Quianzon, 31, was charged with five felonies in connection to the purported sexual assault against the 22-year-old in June 2010 and another woman in October 2009. Quianzon is free on $135,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court in April for a preliminary hearing.
In the federal lawsuit, the 22-year-old's attorney Jason Runckel seeks unspecified monetary damages against Washington Hospital claiming that the hospital is partly responsible for the assault because it failed to notify police about the 2009 assault, did not properly investigate Quianzon's background before hiring him and never properly disciplined Quianzon after the 2009 complaint was made against him.
Instead, Runckel says in the lawsuit, the hospital allowed Quianzon to continue working and placed him in situations were he was frequently alone with female patients.
Those situations resulted in at least one other woman and the 22-year-old becoming victims of Quianzon's sexual assaults, the federal lawsuit states.
"It's unbelievable for the hospital not to have done anything about this," Runckel said. "Even after knowledge, Washington Hospital created the environment for this heinous and horrific act to occur."
In a prepared statement, Washington Hospital spokeswoman Gisela Hernandez said the hospital's "foremost concern is for the safety and well-being of our patients."
"In June 2012, we received a report that an employee violated our patient first ethic by allegedly engaging in inappropriate behavior while on duty," the statement read. "Washington Hospital took swift and appropriate action by alerting the proper authorities after the report was made.
"The employee was arrested immediately, and Washington Hospital continues to fully cooperate with the authorities." Quianzon's criminal defense attorney, Frank Leidman, declined to comment.
Quianzon was criminally charged in August with four counts of sexual battery and a count of sodomy in the alleged assaults in 2009 and against the 22-year-old.
Police were called to the hospital after the most recent incident when a doctor caught Quianzon in the act and immediately notified authorities, court records state.
Runckel said his client was assaulted after she was taken to the hospital suffering from alcohol poisoning. As she laid on a bed in an examination room, Runckel says in his lawsuit, Quianzon first checked to see if she was conscious and then spread lotion on her privates. He then proceeded to sexually assault her, the lawsuit states.
Runckel said in the lawsuit that Washington Hospital is responsible for paying damages because it learned about a year earlier that Quianzon had a problem.
In the 2009 incident, the lawsuit states Quianzon sexual assaulted a woman in the emergency room after giving her pain medication that made her pass out. After she passed out, Quianzon began the sexual assault, the lawsuit states,
The woman complained, and the hospital conducted an investigation but never reported the assault to police as it found there was no basis for the allegations.
Runckel said the hospital's investigation was flawed and that administrators had a duty to contact law enforcement as soon as a sexual assault complaint was made.
"The Hospital Defendants knew or should have known that Defendant Quianzon was unfit to work as a nurse at the hospital and that this unfitness created a particular risk of harm to others," the lawsuit states. "The Hospital Defendants owed a duty to Plaintiff to take steps to prevent Defendant Quianzon from harming Plaintiff."
Runckel said his client continues to suffer both physically and emotionally.
In a prepared statement, the 22-year-old said she is devastated.
"This is outrageous that a nurse did this to me and disgusting that the hospital knew he did this to a woman before," she said. "I am scared every time I go to the hospital. I never want to be left alone with a male doctor or nurse."