A shocking video shows up to six caregivers at an Illinois nursing home pressuring a man with dementia into removing his pants and exposing his genitals for a Facebook Live video, according to a new lawsuit filed by the 76-year-old’s family.
“Reggie, take off your pants, Reggie,” a woman is heard saying in the video, the family’s lawyer said, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
The lawsuit identifies the victim as Reggie Doe — who suffers from dementia after having a stroke — and the nursing home as Holland Home in South Holland, Illinois. Doe was targeted because he was “vulnerable, disabled, and easily manipulated,” the lawsuit says.
It also identifies Moe Odele, Keyaira Garrett, Destiny Waller and Cecilia Whittenburg as four of the nursing assistants, CBS reported. The video was taken on July 15, the Sun-Times reported. The lawsuit seeks $50,000 in damages.
Margaret Battersby Black, an attorney for the family, told NBC5 that the caregivers had “taunted and bullied” her client, who had been at the nursing home for eight months, “in a demoralizing, disgusting and demeaning way.”
Battersby Black added in a statement to The Chicago Sun-Times that the incident was especially harmful because it was broadcast on social media. The lawsuit says the caregivers put the video on social media “so the whole world could laugh at him, just as they did.”
“Another thing that is particularly striking about this video, beyond the delight the participants seem to be taking in being so cruel, is just how many of them are in Mr. Doe’s room as it’s being recorded,” Battersby Black said in a statement, according to the newspaper. “You have to wonder if there was anyone left to help supervise any other patients.”
The attorney said this alleged abuse is some of the worst she’s ever seen, according to Fox32, which reported that the video shows him holding his adult diaper.
“We’ve seen almost every kind of abuse and neglect that can go on in a nursing home,” she told the TV station. “This kind of raises the bar.”
The nursing home did not respond to a request for comment from NBC5, Fox32 or The Chicago Sun-Times, the outlets reported. Doe is now at a different nursing home, according to Fox32.
The man’s daughter, who was not identified, told CBS that her family decided to sue because the workers had “invaded his privacy.”
And even when the Facebook Live video ended, the lawsuit alleges, the caregivers continued to harass Doe.
The incident has led Battersby Black to question if this was the only incident, she told Fox32 in an interview.
“What happened after this?” she asked. “How many times did it happen before this? How many times did it happen where it wasn’t videoed?”