How to Move Forward with a Claim Against ResCare
Everyone wants their loved one to receive an exceptional level of care, which is why many people choose the option of receiving specialized services from the state’s top care facilities. One company that is nationally recognized and which claims it assists people to reach their highest level of independence is ResCare. This company states that ResCare is about Respect and Care.
However, based upon the many lawsuits that have been instituted against this company and the many news stories regarding this company’s practices, one has to wonder if this company is living up to its name. For many of the people affected by ResCare, the steps needed to move forward may not always be clear.
If you or someone you know has been mistreated, abused or neglected by the staff at ResCare, the experienced and committed attorneys at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet, & Buckner may be able to help you.
What is ResCare?
ResCare, a care company founded and headquartered in Kentucky, claims that their mission is to help people live their best lives. These healthcare providers give specific services to those with developmental, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities so they can become independent in the activities of their everyday lives.
Some of the ways ResCare works toward these goals is by providing community living, training programs, in-home pharmacies, supported employment, and a wide array of other programs to guide their patients toward independence.
ResCare and its methods are implemented into every aspect of a person’s life, from their very first steps to the care that they receive within the walls of their own homes. ResCare offers the following:
- Homecare Services
- Residential Services
- Pharmacy Alternatives- includes pharmaceutical systems that help to quickly process physicians orders
- SpringHealth- a behavioral service that comes up with care plans and treatment for patients
- Rest Assured Telecare- to give home monitoring solutions to help individuals maintain a healthy lifestyle
Many individuals who choose ResCare for their loved ones do so to help their loved one to gain independence in an environment that promotes itself as caring, professional, and compassionate. However, as many people have discovered over recent years, it’s questionable whether ResCare is upholding the standards they preach. To many families, ResCare has broken its promises.
Personal Injury Claims Against ResCare
Unfortunately, for many families, ResCare has broken the trust they worked so hard to build. As a variety of personal injury claims have made their way through the court system, it has been alleged more and more that ResCare had neglected some of its residents and betrayed the families who trusted them with their challenged loved ones in their care.
According to a story written by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, ResCare has nine claims that have been filed with West Virginia’s Office of Health Licensure and Certification starting in the year 2017 through 2018. These claims have been substantiated and include claims that the facilities are understaffed and clients are missing scheduled doctor visits. Other claims state the facilities are not meeting the needs of their clients and some clients medication is not being properly administered.
A lawsuit in 2015 against ResCare alleged negligence toward a severely autistic man in his 20s. According to the suit, the man was playing with a puzzle in the living room of a ResCare facility. It was alleged that he started talking with his caretaker about a trip to the beach and the two of them became involved in an argument, which is when the caretaker walked behind the man and violently lifted him out of his seat. The two fell behind a table and the caretaker, yelling at the man, dragged him out of the room before he attacked him.
The mother of the victim sued ResCare and claimed the caretaker restrained her son, twisted his arm, and pushed him to the floor while kicking him. Her son had bruises on his arm, as well as abrasions to his arms and forehead following the incident. His mother said that he is solely dependent on the care he received in the facility and they have failed to uphold their duty to safely and calmly care for her son.
ResCare was also accused of hiring the caretaker without giving him a proper background check. It later surfaced that the caretaker had been arrested in the past for violent assaults.
In January of 2015, a lawsuit was filed against ResCare by Stanley Bibey (the father of the victim) and his attorneys, Eric Buckner of Katz Kantor Stonecrest & Buckner; and Robert B. Warner, Lynnette Simon Marshall and Andrew D. Byrd of Warner Law Offices PLLC. The suit was filed on behalf of an intellectually challenged young man named Christopher Bibey who was left unsupervised and unmonitored in a ResCare worker’s vehicle while the worker disappeared inside of a residence.
While Bibey waited for the worker to return, the vehicle caught fire with Bibey seatbelted into the car. He was unable to get himself out of the car and suffered severe second and third-degree burns to his legs, stomach, arms, hands, and genitalia. He also suffered second-degree burns to his tongue and his facial hair and eyebrows were singed before he was dragged out of the car.
He was transported to the Cabell Huntington Hospital Burn Unit for treatment where he was hospitalized until mid-August. Upon his release from the burn unit, Bibey was placed at the Huntington Health and Rehab Center to undergo rehabilitation services. Unfortunately, this young man never regained the ability to walk due to the catastrophic injuries he suffered.
In another case against ResCare filed in 2016, a 27-year-old man with autism and other health issues was allegedly assaulted by a female employee at a Hobart group home. The female employee, 33-year-old Megan Catherine Akers, allegedly struck the victim with what was identified as a clipboard and screamed profanities at him while he was sitting in a van near the group home.
The suit alleged that the victim suffered bruises around his eyes, bruising to his hand, and swelling due to the assault. He also suffered on a psychological level from the incident. Akers was alleged to have been involved in other past incidents, one of which led to a victim suffering three broken ribs.
Upon discovering what had happened, the family of the victim sought punitive damages, as well as a wide variety of other damages in the case. At the conclusion of the lawsuit, Akers was charged with battery and neglect of a dependent person after three separate incidents of abuse.
A number of lawsuits have been filed for cases in which those in ResCare’s programs have gone missing or traveled outside the facility without permission or supervision. In one case, a patient died as a result of allegations that ResCare did not adequately care for their patients. According to the suit, a 13-year-old allegedly drove a Dodge Caravan from ResCare’s Woodward Children’s Home in Charleston for a half mile before crashing into a stone wall. The 13-year-old girl died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the crash and was likely trapped in the burning van as she perished.
The case is still being investigated, but ResCare’s record of losing or misplacing clients through negligent supervision practices have not gone unnoticed by surveyors and those pursuing the case. The girl in this terrible tragedy is not the only victim that has lost her life or been injured in the care of ResCare.
In a similar case in Clarksburg, a neighbor had to physically return a client to a ResCare facility following an event where the client was able to escape the home without being noticed by employees. The kind neighbor made the man a cup of coffee and returned him to the facility. Upon doing so, they claimed that a staff member was asleep on the couch and the doorbell didn’t work.
In some of these cases, the disappearances weren’t even reported. One client was lost for an entire day before an employee heard two other fellow employees discussing the missing person’s disappearance and finally reported it. Though the client was found safe inside a company vehicle, the next victim of ResCare’s negligence may not be so lucky.
Legal Help with Your Claim Against ResCare
At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet, & Buckner, we have handled a variety of ResCare claims in our practice and understand the pain that comes with realizing the atrocities your family member has suffered due to ResCare’s neglect. We represent victims in claims against ResCare in both Kentucky and West Virginia and are open to helping clients in both states to understand their rights and the many laws that dictate their claims.
Filing a claim against a healthcare provider can be difficult as you deal with damage caps, company attorneys, pre-suit notices and more. Whether you are filing a claim for your own personal injury or the neglect and mistreatment of a loved one, we are here for you. Contact Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner today at 304-431-4050 for more information on how to protect yourself and your family.