Choking Death at Burlington County Developmental Disability Facility

Whether a family decides to place a loved one in a nursing home, a developmental disability facility, or any other professional or medical center, the choice to trust that other people will provide your loved one with the attention, treatment, and care they need and deserve can often be difficult and even emotional. When this trust is breached and wrongful death takes place at such facilities, the consequences can be devastating for a family to endure, and frequently leaves those involved with many questions, particularly whether or not negligence or wrongdoing led to the death taking place.

According to an article from, an employee at the New Lisbon Developmental Center in Pemberton Township, Burlington County, has been put on unpaid leave after the choking death of one of the patients under the caretaker’s observation. A spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services stated that the deceased man choked on a sandwich and had lived at the facility for almost 20 years.

The New Lisbon facility is one of seven New Jersey-run centers that provide care for individuals with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism. What many residents may not know, however, is that the Burlington County facility has a history of problems that led the Department of Justice to open its own investigation in 2002. The state even agreed in 2004 to the independent monitoring of practices at the New Lisbon center for a span of four years, which was later extended one more year, which ended in August.

Although the Department of Human Services has not said whether the employee in question is considered negligent and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have not commented whether the agency will conduct an investigation, considering the history of the facility where the resident died, the chance that negligence contributed to the death is an unfortunate likelihood.

At Lependorf & Silverstein, our wrongful death lawyers in New Jersey understand that financial stresses can accompany the emotional grief associated with the loss of a loved one due to another person’s negligent actions. We are dedicated to helping surviving family members of wrongful death victims receive compensation to help them during such a challenging time. To learn more about how our knowledgeable attorneys can assist you, call 609-240-0040 today for a free consultation.

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