Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit Sues Facility for the Developmentally Disabled After Man Swallows Latex Glove

In Bristol County Superior Court, the family of Grant Pearson is suing Crystal Springs, a Freetown school for the severely disabled for his Massachusetts wrongful death. They contend that staff failed to keep the 21-year-old Assonet resident safe and they did not provide him with the medical care he needed after he swallowed a latex glove in 2011.The facility provides specialized therapeutic, residential, and educational services to adults and kids that are severely disabled.

Pearson, who lived at Crystal Springs at the time of the fatal accident, suffered from pica. This disorder involves a compulsive craving to eat nonedible items.

Per the Bristol County, MA wrongful death lawsuit, on October 25, 2011, Pearson swallowed a glove that had been left in the bathroom where an attendant gave him a shower. Soon after, he began throwing up and exhibited difficulty breathing. Although other staff members were called in, there was purportedly a delay before an oxygen bag was assembled for him and by then he was unresponsive and foaming at the mouth.

The complaint is alleging Massachusetts nursing negligence. The plaintiffs say that nursing staffers neglected to free up Pearson’s airway or employ other lifesaving measures so he wouldn’t choke to death. Also, allegedly because staff didn’t know how to get an outside line, 911 was not called right away.

Investigations by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission and Massachusetts State Police following Pearson’s choking death found that Crystal Springs staff were improperly trained regarding how to use certain equipment, including the oxygen bag and other devices. They also found that there were inadequate or lax policies regarding the handling of latex gloves, the monitoring and treatment of patients with pica, and what to do in emergency situations.

When negligent nursing care leads to patient injury or death, there can be grounds for a Boston nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuit. Care facilities are supposed to provide patients not just with the proper medical care but also with adequate supervision. Policies and procedures must exist to prevent accidents from happening. Staff should be properly trained as well as supervised.

Family of disabled man files wrongful death lawsuit against Freetown facility, The Herald News, March 25, 2013
Disabled Persons Protection Commission

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