Virginia Beach family sues home health aid company after disabled adult dies in mobile home fire

Posted at 11:17 PM, Apr 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-16 07:18:54-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - The family of a man who died in an October mobile home fire in Virginia Beach is taking legal action against a home health aid company.

Owen Carter says his grandson, Joshua Smith, had Cerebral Palsy and was completely disabled. That's why he hired Hand 'N Heart to care for him 24 hours a day. But when his trailer home caught on fire on October 24, no one was there to help him.

"If there had been a live person, a live-able bodied person in that trailer that Joshua would be alive today," said Carter.

According to Carter, the night of the fire there was a scheduling conflict with Smith's care. Last week Carter filed a complaint against Hand 'N Heart and two employees for $50 million.

"We want closure for the family first and foremost. This is a tragic event that could have been and should have been avoided. We want to bring light to these home health aid companies that need to be accountable," said Attorney Eric Washburn.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to Hand 'N Heart for a comment on the lawsuit. They responded but said they could not comment at the time, but will vigorously defend this claim.