Sexual assault victim granted more time to compile evidence for lawsuit against Cape Coral Hospital

By Sandra Lane | Sep 21, 2018

FORT MYERS –– A federal judge will allow a woman more time to conduct depositions to prove her sexual assault case.

Judge Carol Mirando of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted the motion request by Donia Gaines on Sept. 18. 

Gaines' lawsuit stems from an alleged sexual assault that occurred while she was a patient at Cape Coral Hospital. She says a nurse, Jeovanni Hechavarria, attacked her. Gaines claims other patients were attacked by the same nurse, but the hospital never investigated the charges or fired the nurse. 

Gaines filed the motion so she could take more depositions. So far, her attorney plans to depose Maggie Lightner, the accused nurse’s supervisor and Steve Lucas, the head of security at the time of a previous assault at the hospital.


The plalintiff was a patient at Cape Coral Hospital.   Pixabay

The hospital objected to the additional depositions, citing Florida statutes prohibiting more than 10 depositions. The accused nurse also opposed the additional depositions, but did not register his response in the time allotted to do so.  

Gaines also sought additional documents from the hospital. The judge granted that request as well. 

Mirando ruled the parties have until Oct. 12 to complete the depositions of Lightner and Lucas. The hospital has until Sept. 28 to produce risk management reports and any investigative records pertaining to sexual assaults between 2012 and 2016.

Cape Coral Hospital is owned by the Lee Memorial Health System.

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Lee Memorial Health System U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division

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