Slain Nurse’s Husband Files Lawsuit Against Health Care Organization Where She Worked

( — On October 28, 2023, Joyce Grayson, who worked as a visiting nurse for Elara Caring, was found murdered in the basement of a halfway house in Willimantic, Connecticut. She had been savagely beaten and strangled.

Grayson was there on assignment to administer medicine to convicted rapist Michael Reese, who had been determined to no longer be a danger to the community. Her husband, Ronald Grayson, has filed a lawsuit against Elara Caring and their affiliated companies for allegedly ignoring employees concerns over dangerous patients, leading to the brutal death of his wife.

Kelly Reardon, a lawyer for Grayson’s family, asserts that Joyce’s death was “entirely preventable”. The lawsuit alleges that Elara Caring not only ignored their employee’s complaints and concerns but also shamed and treated as though they were overreacting. Employees of the Elara Caring affiliates have long claimed to have been physically and sexually harassed, threatened, verbally abused, and assaulted in the course of their duties. Elara Caring also denied requests to have escorts or additional personnel accompany nurses on visits to potentially dangerous patients.

Elara Caring has rejected all of these claims, calling them “unwarranted”. In a statement denying any responsibility in Joyce Grayson’s death, they shifted the blame to Connecticut’s Department of Correction, Board of Pardons and Parole. They say they only extended service to Reese when the department determined he was safe to be released back into the community. Grayson’s family is also seeking permission to sue the state Judicial Branch and the Department of Correction in connection with their oversight of Reese. Permission from the claims commissioner’s office and the legislature required for such a lawsuit in Connecticut.

Many are now calling for better protections for healthcare workers in Connecticut. Lawmakers are reportedly considering enacting new legislation to that purpose. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has indicated they may levy a fine against Elara Caring for failing to protect Joyce Grayson for roughly about $161,000. Michael Reese was arrested after being seen fleeing the halfway house with a knife and some of Joyce’s belongings. His trial has been delayed pending mental health screening.

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