Day Shelter Sued

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The parents of a severely disabled man who choked to death on a hot dog at a day shelter are suing the facility's operator.

Gregory and Betty Jo Payne filed the lawsuit, claiming negligence, against South Charleston-based Deaf Education and Advocacy Focus, also known as DEAF.

Craig Allen Payne, who had cerebral palsy, died February 12th at DEAF's day shelter in Nitro.

The lawsuit claims the DEAF worker assigned to Payne wasn't trained to work with him and didn't know he couldn't eat solid food.

A lawyer who had represented DEAF said she was unaware of the
lawsuit and couldn't comment.

Under pressure from the state, DEAF closed the Nitro facility and a Boone County program in April.

The lawsuit also named as defendants the state Department of Health and Human Resources and Braley and Thompson, a Dunbar agency
that managed Craig Allen Payne's care.


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