Lawsuit filed in residential care home death

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A lawsuit has been filed in the case of a care home death.

Joseph Adam Lynch, 27, died in July after an interaction with staff members at Mountain View Ranch Residential Care, a group home between Bakersfield and Lamont. The Kern County coroner's office said in September that Lynch died of positional asphyxia, and the manner of death was a homicide.

The sheriff's office was called July 9 on a vandalism complaint. Before the deputies arrived, the sheriff's office said Lynch assaulted one of the group home staff members. Other staff members attempted to control Lynch until deputies arrived.

Lynch was not responsive when deputies arrived, and deputies began CPR. Lynch was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour after the initial sheriff's office dispatch.

Chain, Cohn and Stiles law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of Lynch's family, it announced Wednesday. Named in the wrongful death lawsuit is the care home and Kern Regional Center.

The law firm claims Lynch was a developmentally disabled dependent adult and under 24-hour custodial care of Mountain View Ranch Residential Care.

"Unfortunately, the very same outfit charged with caring for Adam on a 24-hour basis is now responsible for causing his death," attorney Matthew C. Clark said in a news release. "Our hope is that this lawsuit will force residential care facilities and regional centers to re-evaluate the ways in which they go about providing care for developmentally disabled patients and ensure that care facilities are staffed with properly trained personnel."