Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday round-up

From the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia (June 4, 2004) - Damages of $750,000 have been awarded against the owner of Dote de Neige Home for Adults, an assisted living facility in Newport News, after charges were brought against a former staffer who is accused of sexually assaulting a 55-year-old intellectually disabled man. The case against the assisted living facility and its owner, Rose Daniels Potter, was brought by the sister of the man who was a resident at the home. The lawsuit claimed the home and Potter failed in their duty to exercise "reasonable care" when they hired Junious Boyd Batten, 40, of Newport News, as a certified nursing assistant, despite his previous criminal record.

From the Providence Journal (June 4, 2004) - About 2,000 people rallied outside the Rhode Island State House this week to protest possible cuts in services for people with developmental disabilities in a time of economic uncertainty. The protest was organized in response to recent comments by the chairman of the House Finance Committee saying that budget-weary lawmakers had not ruled out sweeping cuts to human-service programs for elderly people and those with disabilities.

From the Associated Press in Orlando, Florida (June 4, 2009) - Activists for people with disabilities brought their Segways into a federal court June 3 to urge a judge to reject a settlement between Walt Disney World and three visitors restricting the use of the personal transporters at the resort. Two-dozen activists parked Segways in the back of the courtroom where U.S. District Judge George Presnell is considering whether to approve the settlement between Disney and three visitors who were prohibited from bringing the vehicles into the theme parks.

From the On Call blog for the Palm Beach Post in Florida (June 4, 2009) - A West Palm Beach nursing home has been fined $16,000 by state regulators after a patient was found injured on the floor with maggots crawling out of his leg cast. The Azalea Court nursing home was faulted for failing to have a comprehensive care plan for the resident that included caring for his broken leg. “The 120-bed facility failed to provide the necessary care and services to a resident with the cast and wound of lower leg, resulting in an infestation of maggots,” stated the state inspection report dated August 2008. (h/t to Media dis&dat)

From BBC News in the United Kingdom (June 3, 2009) - Debbie Purdy, a British woman who has multiple sclerosis, has asked the House of Lords to clarify its law on assisted suicide. Ms Purdy plans to go abroad to Swiss clinic Dignitas to end her life, but fears her husband may be prosecuted if he helps. Ms Purdy has already lost High and Appeal court cases and if she loses this challenge the only option open to her would be to go to the European Court of Human Rights. Lord Pannick QC, who is representing Ms Purdy, said she and her husband wanted to know whether he was likely to be prosecuted and what criteria the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) takes into account when deciding whether to bring a charge under the Suicide Act.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (June 2, 2009) - A group of disabled people rallied against a state Senate-passed budget proposal May 31, saying that deep cuts to key programs would force more disabled people out of their homes and into nursing homes.

From the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire, (June 2, 2009) - Disability advocate David Robar died of pneumonia on Sunday. He was 44. After recovering from a motorcycle accidentthat left him paralyzed below the chest at age 26, Robar became an advocate in Concord and Washington, D.C., for people with disabilities, "winning over lawmakers as he explained how various bills would give people like him the rights assumed by other Americans."