A wrongful death lawsuit was filed today in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama on behalf of 21-year-old Matthew Cox, an autistic young man who died from blunt force traumatic injuries he suffered on October 27, 2018, while a resident in a special needs group home. One of Matthew’s caregivers, Trent Yates, was charged with murder on October 29, 2018. The lawsuit filed by Matthew’s mother, Heather Cox, alleges negligence and wantonness against multiple companies involved in the oversight and operation of the special needs home. The defendants include New Way Out Corporation; French Residential Facilities, Inc.; Altapointe Health Systems, Inc.; and Altapointe Healthcare Management, LLC. The lawsuit outlines twenty-six detailed allegations, including that the defendant companies negligently hired Trent Yates, negligently failed to train, monitor and supervise him, and negligently allowed him to supervise special needs individuals.
“Matthew’s entire family trusted these companies to nurture Matthew and to keep him safe,” said Robert L. Mitchell of Cunningham Bounds, LLC. “They were promised that the group home would be a positive environment where Matthew could build on the life skills he learned while a student at Augusta Evans School. But instead of help and care, he was violently mistreated and eventually killed. These companies completely failed Matthew and let him down at every level. Hopefully, the outcome of this case will increase awareness and lead to some meaningful improvements in the care provided to those with special needs.”