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Family files wrongful death suit after Virginia house fire

The family of a man who was severely disabled is taking legal action after his death in a house fire. The family has filed a wrongful death suit in Virginia seeking $50 million in damages. The suit is attempting to hold a home health care agency responsible for its negligent actions.

The 35-year-old man who lost his life suffered from a birth injury that left him with cerebral palsy. The man underwent numerous surgeries and procedures, and he was forced to live in a nursing home at points during his life. The man wanted to have a comfortable and independent life, so he and his disabled roommate lived together in a trailer home. However, the two required 24/7 care, so they hired a home health care service to provide them with daily assistance.

On Oct. 13, 2014, the nurse who was assigned to help the two that night was unable to work her shift due to an alleged family emergency. The agency refused to let the nurse who was already at the residence work the extra shift, and the agency also failed to send a fill-in nurse. Tragically, a house fire broke out that night, and both individuals lost their lives because they were unable to escape their residence.

The family members of the 35-year-old man have filed the wrongful death suit, and they are seeking $50 million in damages for the loss of their loved one. The Virginia health care agency is likely a defendant in the suit, but it is unclear whether the nurse who was scheduled to be at the house that night will also be named as a defendant. If the suit is successful, the family members could receive a monetary reward to compensate them for related damages, such as mental anguish and funeral expenses.

Source: wavy.com, "Va. Beach family files $50M wrongful death lawsuit", Stephanie Harris, April 13, 2015

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