A registered sex offender with a criminal history is placed in a nursing home. (think of your grandmother living there) He has advancing dementia and no further treatment seems to be working and so it is time for the State to get him off its books. No special precautions are taken to protect the other residents. The predator sexually assaults a 95 year-old female resident. Following the assault, the relatives sue the State of Iowa, while likely wondering if anyone involved actually has a brain or a grandmother. Motions are filed by the State of Iowa asking the Court to dismiss the case. The State argues it has no duty to warn or to protect the other residents from the deviant wharehoused in the place where they live. 

The Court held that under the laws as they exist the state has no special duty to protect the other residents from the perp. Yeah, I know you're probably outraged that the Court would rule in such a way. Seems heartless, which it has to be. But don't blame the Court, because this is the outcome the farmer legislators wanted; otherwise they would have passed other laws. This is what you get when farmers try to practice law and run the Iowa Legislature. It is sort of the same result we would get if lawyers drove tractors and planted corn. The corn rows would look like the tractor operator was drunk. So don't blame the Court, blame the farmer legislators. After all they write and pass the laws; not the Court. 

On this April Fools Day you got what you paid for. 

Photograph of offender.

Estate of Mercedes Gottschalk et. al., vs. Pomeroy Development and State of Iowa, No. 14-1326 (March 23, 2016) link.

“Willis Hamilton is a lawyer representing the estate of the victim, who has since died.

He says he can't understand how state officials can argue Cubbage was too dangerous to be released but "put him in a nursing home with little old ladies" with no protections.” As reported by KCCI

Sexual Predator - Nursing Home - State has no duty to protect your grandmother

Background Facts: William Cubbage was a convicted sex offender, who was committed to the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders (the CCUSO) on May 21, 2002. Cubbage had previously been convicted of “assault with intent to commit sexual abuse (in 2000), indecent contact with a child (1997 and 1991), and lascivious acts with a child (1987).” In re Det. of Cubbage, 671 N.W.2d 442, 443 (Iowa 2003). He had been diagnosed with pedophilia and a personality disorder not otherwise specified with antisocial and narcissistic features. In 2006 while he was committed at the CCUSO, he was also diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, and his mental and physical functioning declined. It was mutually agreed between the director of the department of human services, the attorney general’s office, and the public defender’s office that Cubbage was unable to make further gains from his civil commitment at the CCUSO but also agreed Cubbage was seriously mentally impaired and needed full-time custody and care. On November 16, 2010, the district court entered an order placing Cubbage under an Iowa Code chapter 229 (2009) civil commitment and ordered Cubbage be placed at the Pomeroy Care Center until it was determined he no longer needed care. In entering this order, the district court determined Cubbage’s decision-making process was significantly impaired due to this underlying Alzheimer’s illness and found he was a danger to himself and others due to his dementia and executive dysfunction. With the civil commitment under chapter 229 in place, Cubbage’s attorney filed a motion to discharge him from the CCUSO on November 24, 2010. The district court granted the discharge the same day. Cubbage was transferred to Pomeroy on December 8, 2010.

Prior to his arrival at Pomeroy, the treating team at the CCUSO met with the administrative staff at Pomeroy to discuss Cubbage’s background including his sexual offenses and his physical ailments. Cubbage’s behavior was discussed, and the CCUSO staff advised the Pomeroy employees that Cubbage was not likely to be a danger to others in the facility due to his diagnosis of preadolescent pedophilia. The main concern was to monitor Cubbage whenever children from the local school or day care were present in the facility. On August 21, 2011, another resident at Pomeroy, Mercedes Gottschalk, was sexually assaulted by Cubbage. The assault was witnessed by a staff member’s child, who was walking through the hall and saw Cubbage in Gottschalk’s room.

Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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