Hong v. Department of Social and Health Services
Washington Court of Appeals
2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 162 (2013)
Sue Hong (defendant) was licensed to operate a caregiving home for adults with special needs. Hong hired Theo LaFargue to live in the home and help Hong care for the adult residents. Hong failed to gather sufficient information to be able to run a background investigation on LaFargue and did not give LaFargue any training on handling adults with mental-health needs. A few weeks after LaFargue started, a nurse overheard him telling a resident, KK, that KK should not be living at the home, implying that KK was faking her mental-health issues. The nurse relayed the information to Hong, and Hong fired LaFargue. However, Hong agreed to allow LaFargue to continue living and working at the home for eight more days while he looked for a new place to live. That same day, a volunteer witnessed LaFargue verbally and psychologically abuse KK for 90 minutes. The volunteer tried to find help, but Hong had left LaFargue to care for the residents by himself. Hong learned about the incident two days later. However, Hong did nothing in response, and LaFargue continued to provide at least some of KK’s care. Two days after that, Hong was notified that LaFargue had repeatedly unzipped his pants and adjusted his genitals in front of KK and told sexual jokes to KK. Again, Hong did nothing in response to the information. Instead, Hong continued to allow LaFargue to live at the home and care for the home’s residents, sometimes without any supervision, for another four days until the original deadline. The state’s Department of Social and Health Services (department) (plaintiff) revoked Hong’s license to operate the care facility. Hong appealed the license revocation to an administrative-law judge, the department’s board of appeals, and a state superior court, but all three review bodies affirmed the revocation. Hong then filed an appeal with the state court of appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Spearman, J.)
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