A woman who was raped twice at a Multnomah County mental health treatment center after checking herself in for suicidal thoughts is now suing the contractor that runs the facility for $5 million.
Another patient admitted to the Multnomah County Crisis Assessment and Treatment Center, Biniam Yemana Tesfamariam, twice entered her room without being noticed by employees at the mental health treatment center. Security cameras captured Tesfamariam's trespass into the woman's room, but no one monitored the footage in real time that night.
The November 2015 sexual assault was first reported by The Oregonian.
Telecare Mental Health Services of Oregon, Inc. runs CATC, an emergency mental health clinic with 16 beds on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The same company runs the 72nd Avenue Recovery Center and Stults House in Portland, as well as six other centers in Oregon.
A Telecare spokeswoman declined comment.
The woman's lawsuit alleges that Telecare did not live up to the security obligations laid out in its contract with Multnomah County and that the employees at the clinic acted negligently when they failed to monitor her hallway and the security cameras that filmed Tesfamariam entering her room.
The contract requires Telecare to "provide security functions that include: monitoring internal and external locks, monitoring the safety of people arriving and leaving, assisting with clients or visitors whose behaviors may be dangerous."
While admitted at CATC, the woman was prescribed Ambien, Gabapentin, Prozosin, Seroquel, Robaxin and Percocet—which the lawsuit says made her especially vulnerable to assault.
The suit says Telecare failed to properly screen patients for the risk of sexually violent behavior, to properly train employees to monitor patients and to provide adequate protections for vulnerable patients who had been incapacitated by medications related to their mental health crises.