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$800,000 settlement for choking victim

An $800,000 settlement was reached on behalf of a cerebral palsy patient against Riverside Foundation, an intermediate care facility, for neglect of residents by Levin & Perconti. In addition to the developmental disability, the patient was also diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which manifested in a behavior involving stealing food items and stuffing them whole into her mouth. The Riverside staff was aware of the resident’s habit and was alerted of the need to provide one-on-one supervision of the patient at each meal in the dining room. The extension of the dining room procedures to outings outside the facility was not made. On a group trip to a pizza restaurant, the patient grabbed a piece of pizza and stuffed it whole into her mouth which caused her to choke and ultimately led to her death. Even though the staff was aware of the patient’s tendency, they failed to extend supervision beside the explicit dining room procedures instructed, resulting in this tragic incident.