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Wrongful Death Case Settled Against Youth Treatment Center

Oct 12, 2011

Mel C. Orchard, III, and M. Kristeen Hand, The Spence Law Firm, LLC, in association with attorney Howard Jacobs, recently settled a wrongful death case against a Utah youth care facility. 14 year old Brendan Blum died in June 2007 at the Aspen Education Group's private, for-profit residential care and treatment center in Draper, Utah, after he fell ill, experiencing vomiting, abdominal pain, and incontinence.

In 2007 Dana Blum, a California resident, placed her 14 year old son, Brendan, into its care, for the management of his diagnosed conditions of Asperger's Syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Approximately four months later in June at about 11 pm, while in the care and custody of Respondents, Brendan awoke extremely ill. He experienced severe vomiting, abdominal pain, and incontinence.

The night residential staff gave him a small amount of Sprite, water and Pepto-Bismol only, forced him to carry his mattress to a room in which he was isolated, ordered him to clean the feces off his legs, and neglected to seek medical attention. They failed to check his vitals, or contact the on-call nurse or local emergency room. One staff member called the on-call supervisor, who did not answer his phone and did not check his voicemail messages until the following morning. In the early morning hours, Brendan Blum layed down on his mattress and rolled onto the floor. The staff assumed he had fallen asleep.

The next morning, his body was pale and stiff and the staff was unable to rouse him. At some point between 2 am and 7 am, Brendan died of a bowel infarction or volvulus, an excruciating condition, treatable with medical attention.

Brendan Blum suffered an agonizing death. His family suffered greatly by this disaster.

Mel C. Orchard, III, and M. Kristeen Hand, The Spence Law Firm, LLC, working with Howard Jacobs (Westlake Village, CA), represented Brendan's famliy against the youth care facility. The parties reached a confidential settlement before trial.

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