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Complete Care at Home Hit with Wrongful Death Suit Over Death of Bradley Downing

— June 29, 2020

Complete Care at Home was recently hit with a wrongful death lawsuit over the 2019 death of Bradley Downing.

The family of Bradley Downing recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Complete Care at Home over Downing’s death last year. According to the lawsuit, Downing was a physically disabled 41-year-old man. He graduated from North Gwinnett High School and even competed in the Special Olympics. However, last year, “an at-home caretaker gave him a bath with scalding hot water that later resulted in his death,” according to the lawsuit.

Close up photo of person’s feet as they sit in a wheelchair; image by Stevepb, via
Close up photo of person’s feet as they sit in a wheelchair; image by Stevepb, via

The suit was filed last week in DeKalb County State Court and claims Complete Care at Home “was negligent and caused the wrongful death of Downing.” Lloyd Bell, the attorney representing Downing’s family, said, “The case is really about … improper training and supervision of the home health care professional. This never should’ve happened.”

When Downing was a child, he suffered a brain injury that caused him to become developmentally stunted and non-verbal. As he grew older, his family arranged for a Complete Care employee to help care for him in his home. On the day of his death, an unnamed Complete Care employee “was bathing him at his family’s Gwinnett home when she set the water temperature to scalding,” the suit alleges. Bell said:

“She didn’t test the water temperature before starting to rinse him off…Bradley screamed at the top of his lungs … He was severely burned across his upper torso.”

Alarmed at her son’s cries, Mrs. Downing “rushed into the bathroom, and the nursing assistant told her what had happened.” From there, Downing was “rushed to the Grady Memorial Hospital, where he spent two and a half months in the burn unit.” During that time, his body swelled up and he developed pneumonia. Eventually, he was “released into hospice care, where he died a short time later in May 2018.” As a result, the suit is seeking damages for the “full value of Downing’s life, and compensations for medical and funeral costs.”

When commenting on how Downing’s mother, Mary Anne, has handled life since her son’s death, Bell said:

“Bradley was sort of her life. She’s very disappointed with the way the company has responded to the incident…In her view, they have not taken this as seriously as they need to.”

Bell added that Mrs. Downing hopes the lawsuit helps raise awareness of the struggles that people with disabilities encounter each day. Bell said:

“Unfortunately there are a lot of cases where vulnerable people, particularly children and adults with disabilities, have experienced injuries at the hand of caregivers.”


Family of disabled Gwinnett man burned in bath water settles wrongful death suit  

‘Scalding’ bath water caused disabled man’s death, lawsuit alleges

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