N.Y. Settles Over Death of Disabled Resident for $2.25M


New York on Wednesday settled for $2.25 million a lawsuit filed by a family that claimed staff at a residential center beat their severely disabled 22-year-old son with a stick, neglected him and left him malnourished before he died of pneumonia.

Federal court documents named six staff at the recently closed O.D. Heck Developmental Center in Niskayuna. The case, filed in 2012, was scheduled for trial next week.

“This was systematic, daily abuse of the most vulnerable, helpless person imaginable,” said attorney Ilann Maazel. “It is shocking that the state of New York would still employ any of these defendants to work with disabled people.”

The suit accused the staff of confining “K.C.” to an 8-foot-square mat, hit him with a stick if he tried to leave it, called him names, denied him food and water, stuffed socks and towels in his mouth and stepped on his hands.