CLEAR LAKE — The parents of a young man with autism and epilepsy who died earlier this year of a brain injury are suing Opportunity Village, claiming negligence led to his death.
Melanie Huckins and William Huckins, both of Mason City, filed the lawsuit last week in Cerro Gordo County District Court.
Opportunity Village CEO Jeff Nichols told the Globe Gazette that he had not seen the lawsuit and would not be able to comment on any case as it is pending litigation.
Justin Huckins, 22, who lived at Opportunity Village in Clear Lake, fell and injured his head shortly before 7 a.m. April 13, according to the lawsuit.
He then repeatedly complained to staff of a headache and stomachache, the lawsuit states.
His parents allege he was on the floor at around 8:20 a.m. and staff observed he appeared tired when he stood up and his leg was shaking.
A few minutes later he was given Tylenol and 7Up, and staff observed him throw up and spill the pop, according to the lawsuit.
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Shortly after that he had a seizure and a nurse was called. He was non-responsive, with his eyes closed and continuing to have seizures, the lawsuit states.
He was given one dose of Lorazepam, which is used to treat seizures, and moved to the bed, where his legs would tighten up and relax and he breathed heavily, according to the lawsuit.
When William Huckins arrived at Opportunity Village shortly after 9:15 a.m., he insisted an ambulance be called, the lawsuit states.
The ambulance was called within minutes and Justin Huckins was taken to the hospital, where it was confirmed he had sustained a significant brain injury, including but not limited to an active brain bleed for about three hours, according to the lawsuit.
After multiple surgeries and a lengthy hospital stay, he died on May 19 as a result of complications from the brain bleed that resulted from the delay in treatment by Opportunity Village, the lawsuit states.
His parents allege Village staff had been inadequately trained regarding their son’s individual support plan and the nature of his seizures.