Brooklyn Lawmaker to File Suit Following Abuse of Son with Cerebral Palsy

Harvey Weisenberg has been an advocate for special needs children for many years. As the legislature's most pronounced advocate for disability awareness, he has fought for children and adults with disabilities and attempted to reform the sometimes terrible conditions that they can face at schools and care facilities. In the past, we have covered some examples of the abuse he has advocated against for those with cerebral palsy.

However, it hit too close to home when the assemblyman found out that his son had been abused at the group home he resided in.

"I'm...emotional right now. Torturing somebody, tormenting somebody, it breaks your heart. Ricky is docile. He's sweet; he's not aggressive. He's a baby. All I want to do is give him a happy day."

Now Assemblyman Weisenberg plans to file suit against AHRC Nassau, a local chapter of the nation's largest provider of caregiver services for those with disabilities.

The lawsuit includes as a defendant the alleged perpetrator of the abuse, who from internal reports by AHRC, psychologically and physically abused Ricky Weisenberg. The reports were substantiated, stating the abuse "could have been ongoing" and expressed some reservations that the abuse had not been reported earlier.

As the abuse was sequential, occurring over a number of incidents, and was witnessed by multiple employees of AHRC, it begs the question of why it was allowed to continue.

According to the internal report, three employees witnessed Mr. Edwards antagonizing Ricky Weisenberg by hitting him on the back of his head, flicking the back of his neck, cursing at him, telling him to "get out of here" and that Edwards "couldn't stand the sight of him," using racial slurs, and referring to him by the pejorative "the Gurgitator."

Mr. Edwards, who now works for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau, stated that he had problems "with the staff" at the AHRC facility, and that they "wanted him out."

We think he should be out of working in the field entirely.

Children with cerebral palsy require the best care and treatment. 24-hour care by a qualified staff, along with the proper therapies and support can make a huge difference in both the quality of life, progression, and life expectancy of those with cerebral palsy. If you have a child that is a victim of medical negligence or malpractice and you suspect that it may have caused developmental delays, including cerebral palsy, a Chicago birth injury lawyer such as those at Beam Legal Team may be able to help.

You can read the entire New York Times article online here.