What to Know
- NY is agreeing to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit accusing staff at a group home of punching, kicking and spitting on disabled residents
- The suit says staff at the Union Avenue IRA, which they called "the Bronx zoo" also botched medical care and denied residents food
- Three families filed lawsuits against the staff at the home in 2016, and alleged that state authorities knew about the abuse and did nothing
New York state is agreeing to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit that accused staff at a group home of punching, kicking and spitting on disabled residents.
The suit says staff at the Union Avenue IRA also botched medical care and denied residents food. It reports staff called the New York City facility the "Bronx zoo" and said evidence of abuse went back years.
The settlement was filed Monday. Three families had filed lawsuits against the staff at the New York City group home in 2016, and alleged that state authorities knew about the abuse and did nothing for weeks.
The state's Office for People with Developmental Disabilities will also give up control of residential programs at the group home to a nonprofit provider.
The state office did not provide an immediate comment Monday.
At the time the lawsuit was filed, one resident's sister said that her sister was beaten, raped and contracted a sexually transmitted infection while staying at the home in 2004.
"They're inhumane," she said. "They've treated these individuals very inhumanely."
Six staff and eight supervisors were named in the lawsuit, as well as additional unnamed staff and officials at the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
The state office says abuse of anyone in its care is unacceptable. It says it referred the case to the Justice Center in 2014, put accused staff on administrative leave and is taking disciplinary action against those responsible.
The lawsuit claimed evidence of abuse went back a decade. It alleged the office received an August 2014 staff whistleblower letter but didn't respond for weeks.