(CN) – Administrators and employees at the Bay Pines Veteran’s Hospital in southwest Florida have been accused of ignoring an improper sexual relationship between a counselor and a patient being treated for multiple mental disorders.
In a federal lawsuit, the patient claims the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to verify the credentials of counselor Cheryl Jimenez, who was not licensed to treat patients with mental disorders.
Brian Delahanty said he and Jimenez engaged in a three-month sexual relationship while he was being treated for severe bipolar disorder, depression and alcohol abuse. During this time, Jimenez also encouraged him to use drugs and alcohol to “treat” his conditions and repeatedly encouraged him to move in with her, Delahanty says.
He claims others at the Bay Pines Veteran’s Hospital knew about the relationship, but did nothing to stop it until another hospital employee filed a complaint.
Delahanty seeks unspecified damages for negligent hiring and retention, negligence, vicarious liability, and failure to investigate or properly supervise.
He is represented by Mark Morsch in Winter Park, Fla.