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Massachusetts Group Home Fires Staff Members for Administering Electrical Shocks to Teenagers

In Massachusetts, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center fired seven staff members for administering dozens of electrical shocks to two emotionally disturbed teenagers because a caller pretending to be a supervisor told them to do so.

Six of the fired staff members worked the graveyard shift at the center’s Stoughton group home. A seventh worker worked in video surveillance at the center’s Canton main office. It was his job to monitor activity at the group home through remote surveillance.

According to a state report, the six staff members followed the caller’s orders to awaken teenagers in the middle of the night and shock them, sometimes with their legs and arms tied.

The caller wanted the teenagers punished for their bad behavior that had supposedly been observed through surveillance cameras. Even though the six staff members did not notice this supposed bad behavior, they administered the shock treatments.

Over a nearly three hour time period, starting at 2am, one teenager was shocked 29 times. The other teenager was shocked 77 times.

Other residents at the home woke up to the screaming teenagers and tried to convince the staffers that the victims didn’t do anything wrong. One resident suggested that the caller was a prankster. One of the staff members finally called the main office and was told that no punishments were ordered.

The Rotenberg center is known for its controversial electrical shock treatments. Students at the center are mentally retarded, autistic, or have behavior problems.

Care facilities and their staff are supposed to provide proper care to patients-not abuse or neglect or assault them. All residents of care facilities have legal rights that protect them. If these rights are violated and a patient is injured or killed, a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit may be brought.

Group home fires 7 on staff, Boston.com, December 21, 2007
Prank led school to treat two with shock, Boston.com, December 18, 2007

Related Web Resource:

Judge Rotenberg Educational Center

If you or someone you love was abused at a group home, a nursing home, or any other type of residential care facility, you should speak with a Massachusetts nursing home abuse attorney immediately. Contact the Massachusetts personal injury law firm of Altman & Altman LLP today.