PLAINTIFF’S ORIGINAL PETITION AND REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE
TO THE HONORABLE COURT:
NOW COMES, A. H. (plaintiff),1 the Plaintiff in the above-styled and numbered cause’ and files this original Petition (“Petition”), complaining of R.A.M.M. Health care corporation d/b/a Gilmer Care Center (“Gilmer Care”) and Randall Settle (“Settle” and collectively with Gilmer Care, the ..Defendants”), and for her causes of action would respectfully show the Court as follows:
1. plaintiff brings this action to remedy damages she sustained as a direct and proximate result of Defendant Gilmer Care’s negligence in hiring, supervising, training, and retaining Defendant Settle in a managerial position at the nursing home where she worked’ which enabled him to sexually assault Plaintiff’
2. In addition, plaintiff brings this action to remedy damages she suffered as a direct and proximate result of a sexual assault by Defendant Settle. (Defendants Gilmer Care and Mr. Settle are aware of Plaintiff s identity, her name has been this Petition in order to protect her from any further damages)
3. Plaintiff intends to conduct discovery under Level 3 of the Texas Rules for Civil Procedure. Plaintiff requests that discovery be conducted in accordance with a discovery control plan tailored to the particular circumstances of this suit. Plaintiff anticipates that the parties will submit an Agreed Scheduling Order for the Court’s consideration and approval.
4. Plaintiff A. H., an individual, is a resident of Tyler, Smith County, Texas.
5. Defendant R.A.M.M. Health Care Corporation d/b/a Gilmer Care Center is a domestic for-profit corporation authorized to do business in the state of Texas and may be served with process by and through its registered agent, Alandra Needham, at 703 N. Titus, Gilmer, Texas, 75644, or wherever she may be found.
6. Defendant Randall Settle is an individual residing in Granbury, Texas, and may be served with process at his residence, 8529 Kingsley Circle, Granbury, Texas 76049, or wherever he may be found.
IV. VENUE AND JURISDICTION
7. Venue is proper in Upshur County, Texas, pursuant to Tex. Cry. Pnnc. & ReN4. Cop¡ $ 15.002, because it is the county in which all or a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred. Venue is proper in Upshur County against Defendants R.A.M.M. Corporation d/b/a Gilmer Care Center and Randall Settle pursuant to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem Cde $ 15.005 because venue is proper against at least one Defendant and all claims and causes of action in this case arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences.
8. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case as the amount in controversy exceeds the minimum jurisdictional limits of the Court.
9. Sometime before March 2012, Defendant Gilmer Care hired Randy Settle in the role of Nursing Home Director.
10. Prior to his employment at Gilmer Care, Mr. Settle worked in a managerial role at Cleburne Nursing Home. There, he was accused of sexually assaulting four female employees and terminated as a result. At some point during the employment process at Gilmer Care, company administrator, Alandra Needham, became aware of Mr. Settle’s sexual assault accusations and ultimate termination from Cleburne Nursing Home, but hired him anyways.
11. In addition to Mr. Settle’s primary residence in Dallas, Texas, he rented a townhome in Gilmer throughout his employment at Gilmer Care.
12. In March 2012, Mr. Settle, in his capacity as Nursing Home Director, hired A.H. to work as a respiratory therapist at Gilmer Care. In hiring 4.H., Mr. Settle knowingly overlooked her two felony convictions, which she disclosed during her employment interview. Plaintiff soon thrived in her role as a respiratory therapist, and, in August 2012, she was promoted to Supervisor of the Respiratory Therapy Department.
13. On August 15, 2012, Defendant Settle approached Plaintiff and engaged in a brief conversation in which he offered to loan her an audio book. Soon thereafter, Ms. A. H. visited Mr. Settle’s office to retrieve the audio book, at which point he told Plaintiff that he had left the book at home; Mr. Settle suggested it would “benefit” A. H. to come to his home and pick up the book after she left work later that day.
14. At about 6:30 p.m. that evening, A. H. clocked out of work and drove to Mr. Settle’s townhome. When she arrived, Mr. Settle invited A. H. into his home. Once inside, he offered her a beer, which she declined. Mr. Settle then directed A. H. towards his couch and started a conversation about how he had hired her against company policy. Mr Settle further explained the potential repercussions by his supervisors if they discovered that he had disregarded her criminal background during the hiring process. Mr. Settle also emphasized his role in authorizing her recent promotion. A. H. thanked Mr. Settle for his role in permitting her promotion, at which point Defendant Settle abruptly put his hands on her face, and remarked that “as long as you play, you will always have a job.”
15. Mr. Settle then proceeded to kiss Plaintiffs face and neck, and told A. H. to remove her shirt and bra, to which she reluctantly acquiesced. After a short while, A. H. asked Mr. Settle if she could use the bathroom. After he directed her there, A. H. closed the door and began to cry, worriedly considering how she might remove herself from the situation without also losing her job.
16. Upon exiting the bathroom, A.H. was confronted by a fully nude Mr. Settle, who instructed her to get into his bed. A. H. complied, believing her job and livelihood were at risk. Against A. H.’s will, Mr. Settle then proceeded to engage in sexual intercourse with her.
17 . As A.H. lay there in silence, Mr. Settle asked her if she was comfortable, to which she replied, “not really.” Notwithstanding A. H.’s obvious discomfort, Mr. Settle continued to engage in intercourse with her. When Mr. Settle finished, A. H. attempted to get out of bed, but he told her not to leave. Settle only allowed A. H. to leave when she explained that she had to leave his townhome in order to pick up her daughter from work.
18. Plaintiff awoke the following morning to severe stomach pain, so she drove to the hospital for a sexual assault examination. She also called one of her coworkers and recounted the events of the prior evening. Unsurprisingly, A. H. indicated that she did not wish to return to work that morning. Following their conversation, the coworker contacted Mr. Mike Hamilton, the owner of Gilmer care, to explain the situation.
19. Upon being informed of the incident, Mr. Hamilton conducted an investigation into Defendant Settle’s background. During his investigation, Mr. Hamilton spoke with the former Administrator of Gilmer Care, Alandra Needham, who revealed that she was aware that Settle had previously been accused of sexually assaulting several female employees at a nursing home in Clebume, Texas. The accusations resulted in Mr. Settle’s termination from the Clebume Nursing Home.
20. Subsequent to the investigation, Mr. Hamilton fired Mr. Settle from Gilmer Care.
VI. CAUSES OF ACTION
A. R.A.M.M. HEALTH CARE CORPORATION D1BIAGILMER CARE CENTER
COUNT 1: NEGLIGENCE
21. Plaintiff incorporates by reference and re-alleges all preceding sections of this petition and would further show that R.A.M.M. Health Care Corporation d/b/a Gilmer Care Center is liable to plaintiff for numerous negligent acts resulting in her injury, including but not limited to, the following:
a. In negligently hiring Randy Settle, a known sexual predator;
b. In placing Mr. Settle in a managerial position of authority as Nursing Home Director
at Gilmer Care;
c. In failing to supervise Mr. Settle to ensure a sexual assault did not occur;
d. In failing to investigate other complaints of Mr. Settle’s sexual assault;
e. In failing to conduct an adequate investigation in Mr. Settle’s tetmination at Cleburne Nursing Home Prior to hiring him;
f. In failing to train its Mr. Settle;
g. In retai¡ing Randy Settle even with knowledge of his history of sexual assault;
h. In failing to adopt and enforce company guidelines to prevent sexual assault;
i. In failing to supervise Randy Settle’s interactions with female employees;
j. In failing to warn A.H. and other female employees of Mr. Settle’s history of inappropriate sexual behavior; and
k. In disregarding a known risk of harm to its female employees.
22. Each of these acts and omissions, whether taken singularly or in combination, constituted negligence by Defendant R.A.M.M. Health care corporation d/b/a Gilmer care center which is the proximate cause of the incident made the basis of this suit and the injuries and damages sustained by Plaintiff.
COUNT 2: RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR
23. plaintiff incorporates by reference and re-alleges all preceding sections of this petition and alleges that R.A.M.M. Health Care Corporation d/b/a Gilmer Care Center is vicariously liable for the conduct its nursing home employees, including Mr’ Settle, which proximately caused the incident made the basis of this lawsuit and Plaintiff s resulting damages.
24. At all times relevant herein, Mr. Settle was under the employment of Gilmer Care’ At the time of the incident made the basis of this lawsuit, Mr. Settle was acting within the scope of the employer’s business. Under the theory of respondeat superior, Gilmer Care is therefore liable for the damages suffered by Plaintiff’
B. RANDALL SETTLE
COUNT 3: ASSAULT
25. plaintiff incorporates by reference and re-alleges all preceding sections of this petition and alleges that Mr. Randall Settle, having engaged in sexual intercourse with Plaintiff, acted intentionally or knowingly, made contact with Plaintiffs person, knew or reasonably should have known that plaintiff would regard the contact as offensive or provocative, and, having injured her in the process, sexually assaulted Plaintiff.
26. Each of these acts and omissions, whether taken singularly or in combination, constituted negligence by Defendant Randall Settle which is the proximate cause of the incident made the basis of this suit and the injuries and damages sustained by Plaintiff.
27. As a result of the incident made the basis of this lawsuit, Plaintiff sustained the following damages which exceed the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court for which she seeks reimbursement:
a. Past and future mental anguish; and
b. Physical Pain and suffering.
c. plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $100,000.00, but not to exceed $200,000.00.
VIII. REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE
29. Plaintiff requests that Defendants disclose, within 50 days of the service of this request, the information or material described in Rule 194.2.
IX. JURY DEMAND
30. plaintiff respectfully requests a trial by jury and has forwarded the appropriate fee.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, PlAiNtiff A. H. PTAYS thAt R’A’M’M’ HEAIth care corporation d/b/a Gilmer Care Center and Mr. Randall settle be cited to appear and answer herein, and that upon final trial hereof, Plaintiff has and recovers from Defendants a judgment for all damages provecl, including costs of court, pre-judgment interest and interest from the date of judgment until same is paid, attorneys’ fees and costs, through trial and any appeal’ and for such other and further relief, either at law or in equity, to which plaintiff has shown herself justly entitled.
State No. 02275800