Wrongful Death Settlement of $5M with NY Over Austistic Boy’s Death

The family of a teenage boy who died while in state care has reached a $5 million wrongful death settlement with New York.

The agreement was reached last month between New York state and the family of Jonathan Carey, a 13-year-old boy with autism who was crushed to death while being restrained by a state care worker in 2007.

The lawsuit led to the revelation of numerous and serious care deficiencies in the state’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

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In a statement released last month, the agency indicated that it has been undergoing an extensive overhaul since the tragedy, which has included the replacement of the previous commissioner.

Investigators and attorneys for Carey’s parents uncovered extensive reports of abuse and injuries at the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center, where Carey was a resident. Conditions were so bad that the facility had its ability to accept new residents covered by Medicaid revoked just two months after Carey was admitted in 2005. However, Carey’s parents were not informed of the enforcement action.

Carey died on a van while being held down by Edwin Tirado, who had been working nearly 200 hours with no days off for 15 days.

Tirado was present during at least one other incident of alleged abuse involving Carey, had a criminal record for selling marijuana and was a high school dropout. The van’s driver, Nadeem Mall, had been fired by four other private companies that worked for developmentally disabled persons. The two men drove around with Carey’s body for more than an hour after he died, without ever calling 911 or checking his condition, investigators determined.

Tirado was convicted of manslaughter and Mall plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide.


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