This case takes place in Arkansas and involves the care of a physically and mentally disabled child on the autism spectrum, who was typically cared for at home by his parents. On the day in question, the child’s parents had to leave for a work-related event, so they hired a health care giver – who had previously been to the house – to assist the child in their absence. The care giver was an employee of a healthcare staffing company. The defendant was helping the child out to the front yard of the house in his wheelchair when the event occurred. The employee pushed the wheelchair through the door and onto the driveway, where he let go of the wheelchair to turn around and shut the front door. When he turned around, the wheelchair continued to move toward the street and eventually tipped over, throwing the child from the seat at high speed and causing several significant injuries.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you provide home care for children with chromosomal abnormalities?
- 2. If so, how many years of experience do you have?
- 3. Are you familiar with the proper protocols for caring for a child with severe disabilities?
Expert Witness Response E-008241
I have 30 years of experience in special needs nursing in both the hospital and home settings. I have frequently cared for patients with chromosomal abnormalities, and I am very familiar with the protocols involved when caring for children with disabilities. My first thought was that this employee was not trained properly because a caregiver should not let go of a wheelchair unless it is locked.
Expert Witness Response E-008224
I have over three years of experience providing home care for children with autism, and I am familiar with the proper protocols for caring for a child with autism. I have additional experience in a variety of settings with individuals with autism, genetic disorders, mental illness, and other intellectual and developmental disorders.