Posted by Dana
on October 31, 2000 at 22:15:55:
In Reply to: Abuse posted by Sandy on October 29, 2000 at 13:33:35:
I am an attorney, altho this is not my specific field of expertise. Here is how I see your situation --
-My son has been in a group home for almost 2 yrs., he is a diabetic. Came to light last
-spring that the manager was not following most of Drs. orders. My son was 108 lbs. at 5'8
-1/2". Was lied to about Dr. appt that never were. He room smelled like a sewer.
Are you your son's guardian? File a complaint with the state agency/s responsible for
licensing this group home. Also, file a complaint with your local District Attorney office for
potential criminal charges. An entity generally cannot be held responsible for criminal charges,
and a manager acting in "course and scope of employment" might have some shield, but there
is generally some individual person, whether director/proprietor of the facility, or manager
himself, who authorized this behavior and can take some criminal responsiblity for it. Entities
can usually defend that this type of activity is outside course and scope, altho occasionally
both the proprietor AND the manager can take some heat for it. If your son is a minor and is
placed here thru the school, file a complaint with the district, and also a pre-litigation claim thru
the district. If your son is an adult, file a complaint with your local disabled citizens agency,
generally social services or health care agency. Consider an ADA complaint as well. The more
complaints and claims you file, the more you will get attention and people will act on your
-After months of meetings and bring in the Advocacy manager to affect some changes. Money
-of his was miss spent, clothes were missing,
Depending on the value of the money and clothing, you can file this thru your attorney, see
below, or you can make your own claim thru small claims court. Written documentation of the
money and clothing is nice to have, but I think from all the facts you have given here, the court
will see your story in your favor even without these written documents. Chances are likely that
no one from the group home will even show up in court. You can collect a judgment relatively
easily. Might not be much, but there is a lot to say for honest harassment value.
-after an internal investigation the mngr. and staff retaliated by keeping my son from me for
-several days when I come to visit. (called ahead of time--and when I got there he'd be gone)
This is a false imprisonment and/or kidnapping claim, nasty stuff, both criminal and civil.
Also, if your son is a minor, child abuse, both criminal and civil. If you know where your son
was taken when he was supposed to be meeting with you, that will help your case.
-The final straw was hearing on Fri. that a staff members has accused the mngr. of abuse
-against my son and finally after all these months of telling them that something was wrong
-they fired him. Any advise?
Child/adult endangerment, neglect, abuse. Do you have any photos or other documentation
of actual physical injury? Any doctor reports or other writings that indicate physical or
emotional injury? Any personal observations that you didn't actually photograph, but you can
write them down now, including dates and names of staff members who gave you info or saw
your son in that condition?
You can also do a search on this facility's name thru a general or legal search engine, see if
any other claims have been made against this group home. You also might be able to get this
information from your District Attorney or Better Business Bureau. You don't need it to begin
legal action, but it will be easier to retain an attorney if you can show that your case is
stronger than just your word against theirs. Good case tho, if you can really call such
appalling behavior "good". Hopefully you have found a better living situation for your son. Even
if this manager has now been fired, it appears that more staff members than just this manager
were involved in this mess, and you should not be required, even thru a school or state agency,
to continue this living arrangement for your son. Do not trust the proprietors of this group home
for even one more day.
I hope something here is useful for you. Good luck to you.