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A lawsuit says a Twin Cities hospital didn't protect a patient from sex assaults

The family of a 15-year-old girl with developmental disabilities is suing.

Reports say a lawsuit against a Minneapolis hospital claims a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by another patient there – twice on the same night.

Jeff Storms, the lawyer representing the family, tells KSTP the girl has developmental disabilities and was admitted to University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview after a mental health crisis in November. But because there were no beds available in the pediatric psychiatric unit, she stayed in a room in the regular emergency area.

Surveillance video shows a 29-year-old patient cross the hall to the teenager's room where she was sexually assaulted, Storms told the station. The man, who had also had a mental health crisis, was stopped by hospital staff but then returned to the girl's room five minutes later and assaulted her again, Storms said.

The lawyer told the Star Tribune: “It’s just jaw-dropping. You’ve got not just one but two patients who have mental health crises and apparently they’re not watching either of them.”

A Fairview spokeswoman released a statement to both news outlets that says in part: “While we are not able talk about private patient information or specific events, we assure you that safety concerns are immediately investigated, we look for ways to improve our procedures, and we take additional actions as circumstances warrant.”

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