There is convincing evidence that persons in nursing homes, even persons with dementia in its later stages, benefit physically, mentally, and emotionally from close contact with loved ones, including conversation, touch, hugs and embraces, kissing, and sex. Nevertheless, nursing homes often discourage ongoing intimate relationships because of logistical, financial, and other considerations.
On November 14, 2014, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a $1.44 million jury verdict against Walgreen Company (“Walgreen”) for a pharmacist’s breach of privacy obligations. . The opinion began, “[i]n this case, a pharmacist breached one of her most sacred duties by viewing the prescription records of a customer and divulging the information she learned from those records to the client’s ex-boyfriend.” . That brief summary of the case’s fact pattern provides the foundation of what ultimately led to a large jury verdict against Walgreen, derived solely from the acts of its employee.