- February 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wappingers Falls, NY, February 4, 2020 – An Albany County judge has found the Ulster-Greene chapter of ARC in Kingston responsible for the death of a 26-year-old disabled man who attended a day program at the ARC Pecora facility in 2017.
The victim, whom had Down’s Syndrome and autism, was nonverbal and required assistance with many tasks of daily living including eating. He spent several days a week at a day habilitation program at the Ulster-Greene ARC’s Pecora Center. The decision, issued Monday, found that the staff at the Pecora Center were negligent in failing to abide by the special food preparation and supervision requirements in place for Robert “Bobby” Caseiras, who died of aspiration pneumonia after consuming a plastic toy that was on top of a cupcake that was fed to him. It was documented and known that he had eating issues that had led to choking in the past at the facility.
Casieras endured a prolonged hospital stay in intensive care before passing away from the effects of ingesting the toy. Acting Supreme Court Justice Denise A. Hartman found that a jury trial was not necessary to determine responsibility for Mr. Caseiras’ death. A jury will still have to determine the amount of damages to be awarded.
Thomas R. Davis the attorney representing the Caseiras family, said, “We are pleased that Justice Hartman saw this case for what it was – serious negligence by the staff who should have known better.” Davis, a partner at Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond of Wappingers Falls, NY, commented, “the family remains devastated by the loss of Robert. They hope this lawsuit serves as a wake-up call to those agencies caring for the disabled, so no other family has to go through this.”
“There is a serious history of other care problems at the Pecora Center which we hope will be addressed,” Davis said.
The Court’s decision can be found here.
Or by accessing the NYS Court system e-filing system and searching for Albany County Supreme Court Index #902589-2018 document number 60.
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