Saturday, May 30, 2009

Legislature Grants Approval for Texas Mother to Sue State

If you live in Texas and follow the news at all, you are probably familiar with the case of Haseeb Chishty. Mr. Chishty is a man in his thirties with mental disabilities who had been living in the Denton State School in order to improve his eating and behavioral skills. In 2002, he was beaten by a school employee who later pled guilty to the assault and admitted to being high on drugs at the time. Mr. Chishty now requires around-the-clock care that is similar to what is needed by an infant, with these duties being shared by his mother, his two siblings, and an aide who is compensated through Medicaid. Since the incident, his mother has been testing the accepted standard of where the blame for tragedy should be placed.

Farhat Chishty wants to be able to sue the state of Texas for what happened to her son while he was in the care of a state-run facility. As an entity, the state enjoys sovereign immunity and the legislature must approve any efforts to bring a case against Texas. In the past, only twenty-three out of 307 filed resolutions to sue have been approved by the state. Mrs. Chishty can now state that she is number twenty-four. On Wednesday, the Senate approved a House resolution that will allow the Chishty family to sue both the residential facility and the agency that oversees it, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. The measure now goes to the governor for his signature.

Texas has long been under attack for the quality of care provided in their state facilities, with the legislature approving hundreds of millions of dollars this session in an effort to improve the situation. I imagine that this resolution on behalf of Haseeb Chishty is another way in which our elected officials are trying to set things right.

The law offices of Bertolino LLP have personal injury attorneys who will work with you to get the compensation that you deserve. We know that a traumatic injury to a loved one affects the entire family and has a lasting emotional impact. We want to remove some of that burden from you. If you need legal assistance, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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