PORTLAND, Ore. – Several patients who were sexually abused by a former Providence nursing assistant in 2016 have sued his previous employer for failing to investigate multiple reports that he sexually abused patients there.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four patients at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center who were either sexually abused or raped by Adeladilew Mekonen. Mekonen was a nursing assistant at Providence when the assaults occurred in August and September of 2016.
Mekonen pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Prior to working for Providence, Mekonen was a nursing assistant at West Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center, a senior care center, from December 2014 through May 2016.
The lawsuit alleges multiple instances of when patients or other nurses reported inappropriate sexual behavior, including abuse, by Mekonen. In one case, the lawsuit claims that a fellow nursing assistant reported Mekonen’s behavior but was told if she complained about him again, she would be fired.
The plaintiffs argue that West Hills’ failure to investigate Mekonen’s alleged sexual misconduct, and West Hills’ “great reference” for Mekonen gave him “access to vulnerable patients at Providence.”