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Wrongful death case of 12-year-old disabled girl to go to trial

The case of a disabled 12-year-old girl who died in August 2013 after being transferred from a state institution to its community-based contractor appears to be slated to soon go to trial. With depositions currently being scheduled, attorneys have announced the case should be heard either later this year or early in 2018.

The girl's death was one of 72 that resulted from a 2010 settlement with the Department of Justice. That agreement called for transferring a number of patients from out of state facilities into private ones run by state contractors.

Their daughter was one of among 500 patients being cared for in a community setting at the time of her death. That program was being administered under the supervision of Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

The parents of the Augusta girl filed a lawsuit in October 2015 after reviewing the discovery in the case. Their filing not only accused the Macon-based husband and wife team responsible for caring for her of wrongful death, but the Georgia state disability care contractor ResCare as well.

In the parent's lawsuit, they claim that their daughter, born with severe birth defects, received sub par care once transferred. They maintain that, while her care plan called for her to receive around-the-clock care, she received something much less than that.

They also assert that the care she did receive was rendered by improperly trained individuals lacking familiarity in caring for people with her type of disabilities. Preliminary statements made by both defendants have allegedly backed up claims they failed to provide the proper level of care for the girl.

The husband, an RN at the time, worked outside the home. His his wife, an LPN, was left alone to take care of the girl on a daily basis. The couple alleges they requested additional support from ResCare to provide 24-hour support to the young girl. Their requests went unanswered.

Furthermore, the parents allege that their daughter suffered significant discomfort in advance of her caretakers ultimately deciding to seek emergency care for her. No specific amount has been sought for the girl's wrongful death or pain and suffering as of yet.

If someone you know is suspected of having received inferior quality care resulting in a wrongful death, the advice of an Atlanta attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle, "Lawsuit over the death of 12-year-old girl transferred out of a state institution into community care could be headed to trial," Tom Corwin, Feb. 03, 2017

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