Settlement proposed in Bayada Home Health Care case filed by parents alleging battery of child

By Dee Thompson | Sep 19, 2017

LANCASTER – A settlement has been proposed in the case of a nurse who allegedly struck a care-dependent child in her care.

A petition filed with Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas proposes that that the case be settled for $22,500, according to documents filed July 11. A hearing was scheduled for Aug. 8.

Matthew Moyer and Tia Moyer brought suit against Rebecca Louise Risser and Bayada Home Health Care Inc. on behalf of their minor son identified only as Z.M. after they discovered the boy had sustained injuries to his face in December 2014.

According to the plaintiff's original October 2016 complaint, Z.M. was born in August of 2004. He suffers from Polyol Pathway Disorder, developmental delays and autism. He functions on the level of a 2-year-old, requires a feeding tube and suffers from seizures. He cannot talk.

The complaint states that defendant Bayada Home Health Care Inc. was hired in 2006 to care for Z.M. Bayada was provided with the complete medical records of Z.M. It sent nurses on different days of the week to care for Z.M. He attended classes at Annville Elementary School and required nurses to go to school with him.

In November 2014, Z.M. needed a new nurse for Mondays and Wednesdays, and Bayada assigned Defendant Risser, a licensed practical nurse, to his care on those days, the complaint stated.

Risser was trained by other nurses in the Moyer home. They observed that Risser was, as they described in the complaint, “not very hands on” with Z.M. during training, it is alleged. 

Bayada sent out a supervisor to observe Risser with Z.M., and the supervisor assured the Moyers that Risser was “competent, skilled and able to provide proper nursing services” to the boy, according to the original October 2016 complaint.

On Dec. 3, 2014, Risser cared for Z.M. by herself in the morning before school and then accompanied him to school. At the school, it was observed that Z.M. had a bruise on his forehead. According to the complaint, “It is believed… that defendant Risser became frustrated with Z.M. and intentionally struck him in the face.”

Z.M.’s mother went to the school and took her son to the doctor. Risser’s supervisor also went to the school and saw Z.M.’s injuries. By the next day his face was swollen and there was black and blue bruising beneath his eyes, the complaint states. A subsequent visit to a doctor revealed the Z.M.’s nose had been chipped, it is alleged.

In their complaint, the Moyers charged Risser with battery, negligence, infliction of emotional distress and corporate negligence. Bayada was charged with misrepresentation, saying it had misrepresented its hiring standards and that it would provide skilled and reliable nursing care, and that nurses for Z.M. would have experience in caring for children with special needs.

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