Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Oklahoma Group Home Operator

Source:   Randy Ellis/NewsOk

Poor care by a group home operator is being blamed for the death of a man with severe developmental disabilities.

Mitchell Boles, 51, died from respiratory failure due to aspiration pneumonia less than two months after he was forced to move from the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley as part of the state’s plan to close that facility and a similar institution in Enid, said his sister, Shannon Adams, of Broken Bow.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against group home operator Renaissance Management Group over the March 21 death of Mitchell Boles, lower right. Also pictured are Mitchell Boles’ sister, Shannon Adams (upper left), who filed the lawsuit; their parents, Maurice and Joyce Boles, both of whom have since died; and Shannon’s two sons, Karstin (lower left) and Russ (behind Mitchell). Photo provided
“These group homes are dangerous,” Adams said. “They have no idea what they are doing.”

Adams has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Renaissance Management Group of Tulsa, blaming poor patient care for the death of her brother.

Among other things, she alleges group home workers failed to follow doctor’s orders, made errors with his anti-seizure medication and failed to administer fluids properly — which she believes caused the aspiration pneumonia. She also claims workers engaged in illegal drug use.

Patrick Brendle, president and executive director of Renaissance Management Group, said he could not comment on specific allegations because of the pending lawsuit.

“Right now we’re just trying to get through the litigation process and find out what happened during the time of care that Mr. Boles was with us,” he said. “We’re still sort of in that process of internally looking at things and figuring out the best way forward. … It’s a tragic loss and we certainly feel for the family.”

Adams is only suing the group home operator, but said she also blames state officials for forcing her brother to move.

“These group homes are dangerous. They have no idea what they are doing.” Tweet this
She says her brother lived more than 40 years at the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center and did well there. He was placed in an Oklahoma City group home on Jan. 28, and 30 days later he had to be taken to a hospital in critical condition. He died three weeks later on March 21.

Adams said her parents were both overwhelmed by grief and died within months.

“This year, I lost my brother in March. I lost my dad in June. And then I lost my mom in August,” Adams said, choking back tears. “It’s devastating. The families are being devastated from what has happened from those schools closing.”

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