HONOLULU (CN) – Hawaii removed all of the residents from a family-run retirement home after unfounded allegations of sexual misconduct, the home’s operators claim in circuit court.
Norma Daligcon says she has been licensed to operate a care home since 1991, and that she has run the business with her husband Adriano and daughter Sharlene for 20 years, providing residents with “excellent service.”
The home has a “year-to-year” license the state, allows up to five residents, and is funded by both the state and private revenue, according to the complaint.
Trouble arose in fall 2007 when one of the Daligcons four residents, described in the complaint as K.S., “accused Norma of physical abuse, that is, slapping her; this was reported to the Department of Health; there was an investigation; it was determined that the accusation was false and unfounded; and K.S. then admitted the allegation was false and she had lied because she was mad at a Handi-Van driver,” the lawsuit says.
The Daligcons say they wanted another facility to admit K.S., who had been with them for five years, but they kept her on based on the requests of the resident’s family and the health department.
But K.S. allegedly made another allegation in April 2011. The health department told the Daligcons that it “concerned sexual misconduct (or worse), in which K.S. was the victim, and Adriano was the perpetrator or wrongdoer,” according to the complaint (parentheses in the original).
The Daligcons say hospital records of a vaginal sampling showed no motile or nonmotile sperm after the incident, and “all test results were negative.”
“Almost immediately after the initial ‘allegations’ […] K.S. then indicated that it was another person (a nurse) who had allegedly committed the acts of sexual abuse,” according to the complaint.
The health department immediately removed K.S. from the Daligcons’ facility, along with the remaining three residents, without any authorization from the state’s Adult Protective Services, according to the complaint.
The Daligcons say the state has ignored their requests to return the other three residents, “whom they considered to be part of their family.”
A May 2011 investigation by the state’s Office of Health Care Assurance (OHCA), determined that the allegations were “not confirmed,” the complaint says.
“The OHCA cannot substantiate the allegation of [redacted-believed to be K.S.] by Mr. Adriano Daligcon,” according to the agency’s report, as quoted by the Daligcons. “The Norma Daligcon ARCH/Expanded ARCH licensee did what was prudently possible to minimize the opportunity for such circumstances,” the report also allegedly states.
But the Daligcons say their requests for the return of their residents have still proven futile.
They claim the state’s conduct has personally affected their 26-year-old daughter Sharlene. Hawaii last renewed the Daligcons’ home license for a two-year period in September 2010.
The Daligcons seek damages for negligence, breach of contract and bad faith.
They are represented by Mark Bennett of Starn O’Toole Marcus and Fisher.