Many people in Kentucky and elsewhere have medical conditions that prevent them from being able to live fully independent lives. State-run care facilities exist to help them live on their own in group homes where professional care is always available. An apparent wrongful death tragedy recently occurred in another state, involving a Special Olympics athlete and those who were charged with his care.

The man suffered from a brain condition that rendered him with cognitive abilities similar to a 10-year-old, although he was 33 at the time of his death. His family remembers him as funny, joyful and kind. He had been residing in a group care home for several years when all went wrong on the way home from a Special Olympics competition.

State records indicate that the man and another resident got into a physical fight in the transport van on the way home. The man’s condition was known to place him at risk for blood clots due to a shunt in his brain. Apparently, during the altercation, he was kicked in the chest, head and face multiple times. Evidence existed in the form of a footprint on his chest.

The group home has been accused of gross negligence in the apparent wrongful death of the Special Olympics athlete. It seems that even though he was found in great distress after the fight, no effort was made to get him the medical attention he needed. The coroner determined the cause of death was blunt trauma to the head and ruled it a homicide. Kentucky law, as in all other states, would allow a family facing such circumstances to pursue justice against parties believed negligent by filing a claim on behalf of a decedent in civil court.

Source: ktnv.com, “Death of Special Olympics athlete exposes negligence and violence at state-run home for mentally disabled“, Darcy Spears, June 30, 2016