By JohnChild Injury, Wrongful Death

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Here is a tragic story about a death at an unlicensed group home in Arlington. 

For those who don’t know, a group home is one of the housing choices for young adults and adults with disabilities (including mental disabilities) and special health care needs.  A small group of people live together in group homes. Residents are usually on the same daily schedule. There are different types of group homes for children, adults and older adults with different needs.  Staff at group homes are supposed to assist with activities such as cooking, getting dressed, showering or bathing, medications, building relationships, and other parts of daily life. 

Unfortunately, in many cases group homes in North Texas are staffed with unqualified individuals who are inattentive and, frankly, uncaring.  Medication errors are especially prevalent in group homes, as are failures to call for emergency medical aid for residents.  These errors can lead to more severe health problems for the already challenged residents, and even death.  Surviving parents are often left what happened to their son or daughter, only to eventually find out he or she did not receive proper medication or other form of assistance. 

Then, of course, the guilt sets in. 

Turning back to the Arlington case, the linked story has this quote from the Arlington PD:

“We have allegations of abuse, theft and fraud by Miss Becquer and her company. The stories we’ve heard from the clients and their families are disturbing and heartbreaking and unimaginable, and we are committed to delivering justice to the families and the victims,’ said Kelly Land, Arlington Police crisis intervention specialist.

Initially, police charged Regla “Su” Becquer, who owned Love and Caring for People LLC, with endangering an individual. Last week, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the January death of one of the people, Steven Pankratz, a homicide and the manner of death “mixed drug toxicity.”

The story goes on to say, “’Following a lengthy review of his medical records it became clear that the drugs that were in his system had never been prescribed to him by doctors or used in any medical treatment that he received,” said Detective Krystallyne Robinson during Wednesday’s press conference.’”

One of the duties this group home had was to make sure Mr. Pankratz ingested the proper medications.  But he somehow was allowed to ingest other medications, and it apparently killed him.  If this is true, it is inexcusable and civil negligence litigation in addition to criminal litigation should be brought by Mr. Pankratz’s family.  Of course, the “unlicensed” nature of this particular group home is very concerning.  If the home is not properly licensed, then the availability of insurance coverage for its negligence is questionable.  Any lawyer handling this case will need to examine and determine insurance coverage.  

Contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP for Legal Representation

We have handled several group-home negligence cases in the past and have achieved favorable results.  If you believe your family member in a group home has been neglected or abused – including based on medication errors – and injury or death has resulted, you need sound legal guidance and advocacy from a results-oriented, client-focused law firm. Our compassionate team at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP is driven to recover maximum compensation and justice on behalf of your loved one. We can assist in collecting evidence, looking at available insurance, and making a solid case so that maximum justice can be achieved.  Call today to request your free case evaluation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees. 

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