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Hospital Violence

4 Nurses were Awarded a $ 7.8 Million Dollar Settlement, after they were attacked in 2017 at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital

The four nurses sued  Kane County, Illinois; Deputy Shawn Loomis, who was guarding the inmate, identified as Tywon Salters; and Apex 3 Security LLC, the hospital’s security contractor over the 2017 incident.

The inmate, had been hospitalized for surgery after he ate a plastic jail sandal.  He had been in restraints, but Deputy Loomis had unshackled him to use the restroom.  The inmate went to the restroom, and Loomis failed to re-shackle him when he returned.  Salters overpowered the Deputy and took his gun.  

Nurse Taken Hostage
He then took Nurse #1 hostage at gunpoint, taking her to an office and demanding she give him her clothes. Then Nurse #2 entered the room, and Salters took her hostage. He took both women to the first floor ambulance bay. When Salters saw police arriving, he forced her into a decontamination room, where he held her for several hours at gunpoint. According to the lawsuit, Salters hit Nurse #2 with the gun, threatened to kill her, and raped her.

Inmate Prisoner Killed by Police
The police records said he used Nurse #2’s smartphone to call his relatives and to talk to the police.  When the  officers heard him fire the gun, they ran into the room and killed Salters.  In the settlement, Nurse #1 received $ 7.2 million dollars;  Nurse #2 received $ 650,000, and two other nurses, who were on the third floor, each received $25,000.  The nurses were never publically identified.

In court, the nurses claimed that the hospital and Kane County deputies, and the security company knew that Salters was a danger to himself and others, because he had been hospitalized the week before for swallowing hydrogen peroxide at the jail and had been placed on suicide watch.  The lawsuit said that Salter previously served time in prison for armed robbery, he knew if he was convicted of another felony he would face a sentence of six to 30 years.

A Danger to Himself & Others
They also said that in the days before the incident, nurses had seen Kane County deputies using their personal cellphones and laptop computers when they were watching Salters, and that one had been caught sleeping.  They also said that when Deputy Loomis was attacked, he did not report it, but hid in a hospital room.

1.  Inmates who are being treated in a hospital frequently try to use violence to escape.  They make the calculation that it’s much easier to escape from a lightly guarded hospital, than a secured jail or prison.
Deputies and security officers need to maintain a high level of vigilance.


For more information and a free subscription:  write to:  caroline@riskandsecurityllc.com    We provide security and risk assessments, and certify Hospital and Healthcare Facilities for Active Shooter Assessments,  Active Shooter Training and Tabletop Drills, as well as Healthcare CMS All-Hazards Hospital & Healthcare Facility Risk Assessments and more. Find out more at  www.riskandsecurityllc.com .

Psychiatrist Shoots Mental Patient who Killed His Caseworker at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital

Psychiatrist Draws Gun in Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and Shoots the Mental Health Patient who Killed his Caseworker by Shooting Her in the Face.  Witnesses near the scene reported hearing screaming and gunfire, as suspect and mental health patient Richard Plotts confronted his caseworker, Theresa Hunt, and then drew his gun, and killed her.  Another bullet grazed a doctor, adjacent to the scene, but the doctor had a gun of his own, and he shot Plotts 3 times in the torso.

The doctor, identified as Lee Silverman, was treated was  treated for a head wound and released after being taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  The shooter, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania,  who had a long criminal record, was undergoing surgery Thursday night at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. If he survives, he will be charged Friday with murder,  said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.


A is for Access Control!  Once a potential shooter brings a weapon into a hospital, everything is much more difficult to control.  Keep them out.

Weapons should be checked at the hospital entry points and no-weapons signage should clearly indicate that weapons are not allowed, and that should be followed up with either stand-alone, or wand metal detectors which give staff members a initial level of protection.


Bernice Ho, a spokeswoman for Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, said Thursday it was against hospital policy for anyone other than security guards to carry weapons, so there are questions about why this doctor disregarded the policy, although Donald Molineux, chief of the Yeadon Police Department, said “If Silverman returned fire and wounded Plotts, he without a doubt saved lives.”

District Attorney Whelan described how the meeting among Plotts, Silverman, and Hunt abruptly took a violent turn.  Plotts and Hunt went to Silverman’s third-floor office shortly before 2:30 p.m., Whelan said. Plotts was apparently armed, and people near the room soon heard shouting.

Concerned, a hospital employee “actually opened the door, saw him pointing a gun at the doctor,” Whelan said. The worker shut the door quietly and immediately called 911.     Plotts then opened fire.  According to Whelan, he shot Hunt two times in the face. The psychiatrist then ducked under his desk, retrieved his gun, and came up shooting, striking Plotts three times.

Keep Weapons Out of the Hospital to Dramatically Reduce Violent Incidents!

The 5 Missing Elements of Most Workplace Violence Prevention Programs

The 5 Missing Elements of Most Workplace Violence Prevention Programs

After working with a variety of organizations on a baseline Workplace Violence assessment, there are several areas that seem to be common problems for most organizations.  These elements are not expensive, and not timing-consuming, so they are natural candidates for improvement.

A baseline workplace violence assessment is a survey of employees in different roles, combined with a threat analysis and an analysis of existing controls and a historical incidents that can be reviewed and aggregated.

Here are the top 5 most common missing elements, with potential solutions.

1.  Missing workplace violence awareness/training programs.  Many organizations report that they have set these up, that they have sent out emails to all employees, but we consistently find that the employees didn’t read the emails, didn’t know the training was available, or that it wasn’t included in their initial company orientation.

2.  Mis-categorization of workplace violence incidents.   There is a mistaken (in my opinion) idea that domestic violence incidents that happen at work should not be categorized or reported as a Workplace Violence incident.  This is a mistake, and leads to bad information about the true nature of the problem.  If someone comes and shoots her significant other at work (IN THE WORKPLACE) – it is a workplace violence incident.

3.  Staff feels subtle pressure from management not to report every incident.
In my research, management wants every incident reported, every time, but
staff members report that their own direct supervisors may discourage them by not taking time to discuss these pre-incidents, and also by chalking up comments as merely office gossip.

4.  Not linking Human Resources with Security on the issue of Workplace Violence Prevention.  This is a management issue, but organizations that create bridges between HR and security are way ahead because this is one issue where cooperation makes a big difference in results.  HR can’t do a security assessment and security can’t write termination policies and set up employment screening. They are both absolutely necessary.

5.   Not doing an Annual Workplace Violence Assessment.  Since late 2008, when the economy suffered major job losses,  the number of workplace violence assessments have increased dramatically, especially in the healthcare field.  Annual assessments are best way to stay on top of the ‘potential’ for violence in your organization.

Check out one of our regularly scheduled webinars to learn more about this important issue.


REMEMBER – Workplace Violence is the one threat that is PREVENTABLE!


                                        — Caroline Hamilton