Family sues over death of autistic man left in van in Bucks

    The family of the autistic man who died after he was left in a sweltering van in Langhorne, Pa., last summer is suing his caretakers.


    Bryan Nevins’ father, William, is asking for more than $5 million in damages. Bryan’s caretaker and Woods Services, where the 20-year-old lived, are named in the wrongful death suit. The suit alleges Woods Services failed to properly screen and supervise its employees.

    At the sentencing hearing for his son’s caretaker in March, William Nevins said the two- to five-year prison sentence Stacey Strauss received was unsatisfying.

    “I think there has to be harsher penalties here,” Nevins said. “I think that people that take care of special-needs children need to live up to their responsibilities and to be held accountable.”

    The 10-bed building at Woods Services where Nevins lived has been closed since last summer after the state revoked its license. As Woods is appealing that revocation, a representative declined to comment on pending litigation.

    The rest of the nearly 800-bed facility in Bucks County remains open.

    Michael Race, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, said the state suspended new applications there for a time, then reviewed each new application for a six-month period.

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