Beasley Allen has filed a lawsuit against Russell County Group Home as well as staff in the wrongful death of Mr. John Wayne Lewis. The lawsuit alleges the employees of Russell County Group Home failed to remove Mr. Lewis from a company van after a September 2018 trip outside of the home. Lewis was left in the van for four hours as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees. As a result of insufficient care, Mr. Lewis died of hyperthermia. The Estate of John Wayne Lewis is represented by Beasley Allen lawyer J. Cole Portis, who is head of the firm’s Personal Injury Section, along with Brian Strength of Strength & Connally, LLC in Tuskegee, Alabama.

“We are repeatedly reminded of the deadly consequences of leaving children and animals in vehicles during warm months,” Portis said. “Mr. Lewis and other adults who are unable to care for themselves are not immune to the deadly heat that quickly takes over a vehicle in these conditions. There were several caretakers responsible for the residents on that day. Unfortunately, they did not take the time to go through the van to ensure all passengers were accounted for. Russell County Group Home failed to protect Mr. Lewis by not having a safety plan in place to protect against such occurrences. Group homes, child care facilities, and anyone responsible for the care of a helpless person should be held accountable for such careless behavior.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the temperature in a car can increase 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. A vehicle can heat up to above 110 degrees on a 60-degree day. On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly peaks in 10 minutes.

The complaint is filed in the Circuit Court of Russell County, Alabama.

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