United Kingdom

Abusive caregivers in Marina, California 'took a disabled man drag racing and gave him marijuana'

A severely mentally ill man was abused by caregivers who landed him in hospital twice after taking him drag racing and giving him marijuana, according to a law suit.

Tyler Berry, 30, has autism, bipolar disorder and several physical health conditions including a life-threatening endocrine disorder and blindness that leave him needing 24-hour care.

But staff at assisted living service Spread Your Wings LLC in Marina, California repeatedly mistreated him and denied him important medications, according to a law suit filed by his mother, Brandy Berry.

In one alleged incident, a caregiver attacked him after he woke her up from a drunken stupor.

Tyler Berry, 30, has autism, bipolar disorder and several physical health conditions including a life-threatening endocrine disorder and blindness that leave him needing 24-hour care

The law suit, filed by Santa Cruz law firm Scruggs, Spini and Fulton and seen by the The Mercury News, names four employees at the complex, where Berry was moved in February after his mother was unable to properly look after him due to her full time job.

The caregivers used Berry's apartment as a 'party pad' and would invite friends over to drink and smoke marijuana, the law suit claims.

On March 23, they allegedly gave Berry marijuana which - due to his health conditions - caused a dangerous drop in his blood pressure that required him to be admitted to a hospital emergency room.

The suit claims that on April 12, two off-duty staff members and the on-duty caregiver picked Berry up and drove him to a local highway where they started racing each other in a 'drag race'.

The driver of the car Berry was in lost control and swerved off the road, where it rolled over 'several times'.

Berry had to be cut out of the car and suffered concussion, bi- lateral contusions to his lungs, a bruise to his chest wall, and a broken rib, it is claimed. He spent two days in hospital.

One of the three people involved in the incident had allegedly been suspended for misconduct and banned from having any contact with Berry.

A third incident saw a caregiver pass out while drunk and then assaulting Berry when he tried to wake her up, the suit alleges.

Personal injury lawyer David Spini called employees' actions 'beyond outrageous', adding: 'To take advantage of and cause actual harm to the most vulnerable members of our community is beyond belief.'

The suit noted that case notes which caregivers were meant to use to log any incidents at the end of their shifts did not make a reference to either of the two hospitalizations.

Spini said the case had been referred to the Monterey County Adult Protective Services which investigates claims of criminal abuse. The department declined to comment.

Berry's mother started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to move her son into a new home.

In the latest update on May 2, she wrote: 'Thank you so much for all the donations and shares!! Because of this, I was able to find and fund a safe placement for Tyler for the next 2 weeks.

But staff at assisted living service Spread Your Wings LLC in Marina, California repeatedly abused him and denied him important medications, according to a law suit filed by his mother, Brandy Berry

'He was discharged from the hospital this evening, is at home with me tonight, and will be headed to his new placement tomorrow.

'My ultimate goal is to find quality care for him so he can go back to his home. I'm eternally grateful to all the kindness and generosity of so many people!!!'

The future of Berry's care is still uncertain because his mother needs to work full time.

On its website, Spread Your Wings boasts of its 'high quality supported living service' for adults with developmental disabilities.

This includes managing residents' finances, arranging medical treatment and providing advice to make 'fundamental life decision'.

The company, which also has offices in San Jose, Lodi, Pleasanton and Sacramento states that 'every individual is treated with respect, dignity, and pride'.

Dailymail.com has contacted the company for comment.  

The suit noted that case notes which caregivers were meant to use to log any incidents at the end of their shifts did not make a reference to either of the two hospitalizations. 

Spini said the case had been referred to the Monterey County Adult Protective Services which investigates claims of criminal abuse. The department declined to comment.   

Berry's mother started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to move her son into a new home. 

In the latest update on May 2, she wrote: 'Thank you so much for all the donations and shares!! Because of this, I was able to find and fund a safe placement for Tyler for the next 2 weeks. 

'He was discharged from the hospital this evening, is at home with me tonight, and will be headed to his new placement tomorrow. 

'My ultimate goal is to find quality care for him so he can go back to his home. I'm eternally grateful to all the kindness and generosity of so many people!!!' 

The future of Berry's care is still uncertain because his mother needs to work full time.  

On its website, Spread Your Wings boasts of its 'high quality supported living service' for adults with developmental disabilities. 

This includes managing residents' finances, arranging medical treatment and providing advice to make 'fundamental life decision'. 

The company, which also has offices in San Jose, Lodi, Pleasanton and Sacramento states that 'every individual is treated with respect, dignity, and pride'.  

Dailymail.com has contacted the company for comment. 

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