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Woman Hit With Bill After Brother’s Death At Institution


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A New York woman who says her brother with intellectual disability was killed two years ago at a state institution where he lived is now being billed $11.67 million for the man’s care.

Shaniece Luke says she received an invoice from the New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities for the care her brother, Rasheen Rose, received since August 2002.

Rose, who had severe autism and was nonverbal, died in 2012 after he was physically restrained. A medical examiner determined that Rose’s death was a homicide.

“I thought it was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it,” Luke told the New York Daily News about the bill, which she believes is retaliation for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with her brother’s death.

The bill specifies that the $11.67 million is due if Luke wins in court and receives punitive damages, the Daily News reports.

A spokeswoman for the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities told the Associated Press that the agency is merely following federal Medicaid rules in seeking reimbursement for Rose’s care.

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Comments (11 Responses)

  1. Sheilah says:

    This is the way it has always been. If a individual is receiving public assistance of any kind and he/she has a pending lawsuit (no matter who the suit is brought against) the recipient is expected to reimburse the department/agency who paid the public assistance if he/she wins the lawsuit.

  2. Dawn says:

    But it doesn’t make sense to reimburse the people that killed him!

  3. Betty says:

    In California if you receive aid from the state after a certain age, your home is attached when you die if you have one. There are restrictions for living souses and disabled children. I doubt that this is any different and would hope the family is just not looking at making money off this tragedy. If he was murdered then someone needs to pay. I have a severely autistic, nonverbal grandson who is 20 now and we fear, with a passion, having to put him in one of these places some day and this is the reason why.

  4. Rachel says:

    That’s crap. Medicaid has already paid for the services he received. I guarantee OPWDD did not admit him to their group home without Medicaid and SSI/SSD already in place and approved to pay for these services.

  5. Sue Keller says:

    It seems there is a perverse incentive to actually kill residents in these sorts of situations….

  6. Tanya says:

    The “individual receiving assistance” is now deceased, and the award, if there is one, will not be paid to his estate. Is there not room to argue that the award is not subject to reimbursement rules?

  7. AllisonWBrown says:

    I agree with Sheilah,

    This is the law as deranged and manipulative it may feel/seem. My parents had a son who had several health issues who passed away after about two years of living. During those times public health assistance was given ( therapy etc ).

    Medicaid ( or whatever the insurance was ) came storming in and demanded a large sum from a lawsuit that was pending as well. I don’t know the specifics but from what I gather after they got their share there was very little left for my parents. ( not that much was rewarded in the first place )

  8. dlmgraham says:

    This is sick! I’m sure his sister isn’t looking for a “payday”, but she is looking for JUSTICE. If this type of treatment is used to discourage lawsuits and sweep deaths due to negligence under the rug, I believe there needs to be a federal investigation into these types of “homes”. I can only hope my son won’t ever have to be put into such a facility.

  9. Dr Roxanne Lewis says:

    This is the way it has always been. Say for example a person wins a workers’ comp law suit for a wrongful accident; the state comes in an takes a percentage of the award to reimburse the tax payers for the future costs of the treatment and the past costs of the treatment. If you have a house and one of your children goes into a state facility, they will attach the house to pay for the treatment. It has been this way for decades. The only way one can prevent it is to be declared indigent and have nothing. If you go on welfare because of a work accident and get a settlement for the accident, welfare has a claim to be reimbursed for the service. This is because the money is public money and belongs to the people; including Medicaid, which is still public money. If you are on disability and win the lottery, the state is entitled to be repaid all public monies paid on your behalf. This is how the gov gets us coming, and going. And in terms of “it does not make sense to reimburse the people who killed him” that money does not go to the people in the facility–that money goes into the general fund, which belongs to the people of the taxpaying public. It is used to support public agencies and public good.

  10. Rachel says:

    This is a very sad situation for the sister and, all of us whom have a family member with a disability. I understand the legal side of reimbursement of care however, with that being said, I am assuming his age was that of an adult due to the reference of ‘man’ used in the article. My mom was in her 70s when she passed away 3years ago and, on Medicare. After her passing, I started receiving a numerous amount of bills in reference to her hospital stay. I paid a few and, was working with the hospital on a bill when the account manager told me that I am NOT legally responsible for any debts of my moms. And, since she did not have an estate of things of value, there was no recourse for repayment. I did confirm this with an attorney. Even my moms small life insurance was not subject to the repayments. So, what I am getting at, the pending lawsuit monies would not be payable to the deceased man but his sister so, how could her actions of receiving funds be subject to his ‘debts’? There are many cases of people taking advantage of the government welfare system however, this is not one. This, to me, is the government system taking advantage of the people. Which, unfortunately, is becoming more if a norm …. Sad. My heart goes out to the sister for her loss of her brother specially under the nature of his death. And, now having to deal with the force of the ‘Big Brother’,,,!

  11. kelley says:

    I am confused. The state hasn’t collected any money for this man’s care since 2002? If he was living in a state institution he has already been deemed eligible for monies associated with his care. There are so many great programs out there for people with disabilities. This garbage is the type of thing that ruins the reputation of voluntary organizations that embody the feeling that people are people and deserve the same respect as anyone without a disability.

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