Inclusion Daily Express Logo

International Disability Rights News Service
Click here for our home page

Keeping advocates informed, inspired and connected since 1999.
Click here for daily or weekly delivery . . . OR
Try Inclusion Daily Express for ten days FREE . . .

Careys Sue O.D. Heck Alleging Abuse Cover Ups Prior To Son's Death
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 12, 2009

ALBANY, NEW YORK--The parents of Jonathan Carey filed a lawsuit Thursday against officials and several employees of the state-run Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center claiming they allowed and covered up abuse against their son for the two years before a staff member fatally restrained him.

Thirteen-year-old Jonathan died on February 15, 2007 after O.D. Heck worker Edwin Tirado Jr. suffocated him during a restraint in the back of a facility van.

After Jonathan stopped breathing, Tirado and coworker Nadeem Mall spent the next 90 minutes shopping and running errands instead of administering CPR, calling for help, or taking the teen to an emergency room.

Tirado is serving 5 to 15 years in state prison for manslaughter in the crime. Mall accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Now, Michael and Lisa Carey allege that Tirado abused Jonathan several times -- resulting in bruises and marks on his head and ears -- during the two years leading up to their son's death.

According to the Times-Union, the couple claims, among other things, that Tirado was allowed to work for 15 straight days for a total of 197 hours before the boy's fatal restraint; that Tirado and Mall did not take a special device on the van that would have prevented Jonathan from trying to take off his seat belt; and that the facility failed to do adequate background checks or properly train or monitor its staff.

"This was not an isolated event," said the couple's attorney, Ilaan Maazel. "O. D. Heck made this event almost inevitable."

At the time of Jonathan's death, the Careys had already been pushing for parents to have greater access to information about their children's treatment at residential facilities. In 2004, they pulled Jonathan out of the privately run Anderson School, claiming he was abused and neglected by staff there. They sued that facility and started their campaign to require more transparency of staff and incident records.

In May 2007, Governor Eliot Spitzer signed "Jonathan's Law" to give parents and guardians of children at institutions access to child abuse investigation files and medical history records. The law also required facility officials to notify parents and guardians within 24 hours of a report of abuse or neglect.

Lawsuit claims O.D. Heck covered up earlier abuse against Jonathan
"Jonathan's Law and O. D. Heck Developmental Center" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

Copyright © 2009 Inonit Publishing
Please do not reprint, forward, or post without permission.

WWW Inclusion Daily Express Archives

Click here for top of this page

Purchase this story for your website or newsletter . . .

Here's what subscribers say about Inclusion Daily Express. . .

Keeping advocates informed, inspired and connected since 1999.
Click here for daily or weekly delivery . . . OR
Try Inclusion Daily Express for ten days FREE . . .

Get your news here!

Inclusion Daily Express
3231 W. Boone Ave., # 711
Spokane, Washington 99201 USA
Phone: 509-326-5811
Copyright © 2009 Inonit Publishing