Motion for Summary Judgment - Wrongful Death

West Palm Beach Partners, Sherry Schwartz and Nicole Kirk prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in a wrongful death claim initiated against a group home for adults with disabilities. Specifically, the decedent was a thirty-three (33) year old male with intellectual disabilities, the basis of which led to his initial placement at the group home. The decedent thereafter resided at the group home for six (6) years. On the date in question, the decedent left the group home during evening hours and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. He passed away weeks later due to injuries relating to the subject accident.

Plaintiff alleged that the group home failed to implement appropriate care plans and/or properly supervise decedent, despite a history of prior elopement incidents. Defendant contended that the group home complied with the requisite standard of care, including having proper care plans in place to address decedent’s elopement behaviors – as developed with assigned support coordinators and Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Defendant also relied upon concessions of Plaintiff’s standard of care expert who agreed that the group home communicated decedent’s needs to the support coordinators and that the group home was sufficiently staffed. The Court ultimately found that the group home could not be held liable, as the group home sought guidance in developing the care plans which were approved, and there existed no evidence to suggest that the group home breached the standard of care.

Sherry Schwartz
(561) 383-9251

Nicole Kirk
(561) 681-5557

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