Jackson County Developmental Center named in sexual abuse lawsuit

By Joel Brakken | Nov 27, 2013

RIPLEY - A legally incompetent man is seeking damages for allegedly being sexually assaulted while in the care of the Jackson County Developmental Center.

James Frederick Patch Jr., a protected person who is suing by his guardians, James Frederick Patch Sr. and Brenda Patch, and James Frederick Patch Sr. and Brenda Batch individually, filed a lawsuit Nov. 15 in the Circuit Court of Jackson County against the Jackson County Developmental Center Inc.

According to the complaint, on Oct. 24, 2012, Patch became a client of JCDC and began working at the recycling facility operated by JCDC. As part of this relationship, Patch was provided with an apartment and given assistance with activities of daily life by caregivers employed by the defendant, the complaint says.

The complaint states that one of the people employed by JCDC to provide services was John Hodges. On June 7, the plaintiffs were advised that sexual contact had occurred between Patch and Hodges, the complaint says.

The plaintiffs claim the defendant was aware of the contact, but did not take any action because Patch was above the age of consent, although Patch had previously been judged to be incompetent and incapable of giving consent. The complaint states that due to the issues between the plaintiff and defendant, the defendant flied for modification of appointment of guardian in an attempt to remove the plaintiffs as co-guardians of Patch and to designate the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources as guardian.

The plaintiffs allege that due to the defendant's wrongful misconduct, Patch suffered injuries, including being sexually assaulted by the defendant's employee on numerous occasions and his parents being accused of misconduct and attempts to remove them as guardian of Patch.

Patch is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages to compensate him for his injuries and an order requiring that Patch be removed from the defendant's facility to another facility in West Virginia. He is being represented in the case by attorney and David R. Karr Jr. and Larry O. Ford of Meyer, Ford, Glasser & Radman PLLC.

Jackson County Circuit Court Civil Action No. 13-C-141

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