$700,000 – Developmentally Disabled 24-Year-Old Man Abused at a Residential Care Facility Brings Elder/Dependent Abuse Action

This case was brought by the parents of a 24-year-old man who was placed in a care home after his parents could no longer watch him 24 hours a day. The plaintiff required 24-hour care including feedings, changing of diapers and attention during the night when he frequently woke up restless and in need of help.

During a home visit, the parents noticed that their son had scars on his back and the police and the protective service agencies became involved.

At the point that the law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, were retained in the case, the care home was refusing to accept any responsibility for the incident, claiming that the young man’s wounds were either self-inflicted, inflicted by the parents or some other care provider.

The agency that placed the young man in the facility in question claimed no responsibility because under the law they had no duty to affirmatively check on their placements to make sure that they were safe.

The law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, performed an investigation discovering a number of former employees who worked at the care facility who reported proper procedures were rarely followed. Further investigation uncovered documents that the facility had been cited many times in the past and had refused to comply with the citations.

The law firm hired a pathologist who concluded that the wounds from which the young man suffered were fairly recent and could not possibly have been self-inflicted. A neurologist was retained to establish the fact that despite the young man’s severe retardation, he could feel and suffer from the kind of pain inflicted on him at the care home. A care home expert was retained to testify to the failed policies of the home. A handwriting expert put together evidence that important documents had been forged and written after the fact by the owner of the home.

Finally, a life care expert was retained to testify to the fact that it would cost a great deal of money for plaintiff to receive around-the-clock care at home. Such care was required now because he was too scared to return to any type of facility.

RESULT: $700,000 settlement on behalf of plaintiffs