A Long Island, N.Y., nursing home is being sued after a male stripper put on a show for residents.
Bernice Youngblood, an 86-year-old resident with partial dementia, was subjected to an unwanted performance and "photographed by nursing home staff as a muscular, almost nude male dancer gyrated in front of her," according to the multi-million dollar lawsuit filed last month.
"He had a fistful of dollars in his hand and she was putting a dollar in his pants at his demand; he's leaning over her, he's not just standing there, he's intimidating her," her attorney, John Ray, told 1010 WINS. "This might be great for 32-year-old single girls, but this is an 86-year-old traditional, African-American woman who doesn't want white men sticking their private parts in her face."
The lawsuit claims that her son, Franklin Youngblood, found the racy photograph in his mother's belongings in January 2013. When he tried to ask the head nurse at the East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in West Babylon about the picture, she lunged at him and tried to snatch the photograph out of his hand, according to the lawsuit.
His brother then called and spoke to another nurse who told him that the performance was part of an "entertainment event" at the nursing home that was "planned, scheduled and executed by the facility, its agents, and employees and that it was done in 'good faith,'" the lawsuit stated.
The attorney for the facility, owned by Cassena Care, said that the activities board approved the event and that Bernice Youngblood was not forced to attend. The attorney said that she was brought down from her room by her daughter-in-law and had fun at the event. The family denies the assertion.
"We honor the individuality, dignity, privacy, and safety of each individual with whom we have the pleasure of working, and we work closely with family members and caregivers to ensure that we stay focused on making everyone involved feel as confident, comfortable, and joyful as possible," the nursing home says on its web site.
Youngblood's attorney called the strip show "grotesque" and said that employees did it "for their own sick amusement."
Youngblood and other patients do not have "the physical or mental capacity to consent to such vile acts or to defend themselves against such vile acts," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said that Youngblood suffered extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, shame, a diminished sense of self-worth and loss of dignity.