The family of an Autistic boy who died while in state care has received a $5 million wrongful death settlement. In 2007, 13-year-old Jonathan Carey was crushed to death while being restrained by a New York state care worker.
Carey was a resident at Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center in Albany, New York. This state-run residential facility houses children and teens with developmental disabilities such as Autism, Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.
Carey died in the back of a facility van while under the care of two O.D. Heck Center employees. He was asphyxiated during an improperly done restraint procedure. After Jonathan stopped breathing, Edwin Tirado and coworker Nadeem Mall spent the next 90 minutes shopping and running errands instead of administering CPR, calling for help, or taking Carey to a hospital. It was later revealed that Tirado had a previous criminal record and had been permitted to work for 197 hours straight in the two weeks prior to Jonathan’s death.
Tirado was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in state prison for second degree manslaughter in the crime. Mall accepted a plea bargain and received a six month sentence for criminally negligent homicide.
In September 2011 the Careys were awarded a $5 million settlement from the state of New York.
After Jonathan’s death, Governor Elliot Spitzer signed “Jonathan’s law,” giving parents or legal guardians access to abuse records in New York State and mandating immediate notification of families.
The Careys started the Jonathan Carey Foundation to help prevent other children from suffering through abuse and neglect.
“Our son Jonathan was a precious gift from the Lord, and we miss him every day. Nothing can bring our son Jonathan back. But we hope his case will be a catalyst for further necessary reform to protect vulnerable, disabled children and adults,” said Jonathan’s parents, Michael and Lisa Carey.
Wrongful death cases can be extremely complex, challenging and difficult to understand. If you have experienced a tragic death of a loved one, you should contact our Wrongful Death Lawyers at Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC to learn more about your legal rights and options. All inquiries are kept strictly confidential and the consultation is free.