Rasheen Rose was mentally disabled. His family placed him in a facility in Queens, N.Y., that was better equipped to handle the 33-year-old's needs. According to reports, two years ago, Rose became unresponsive while being restrained at the Fineson Developmental Center and later was pronounced dead, New York's Daily News reports.
A year later, Rose's sister, Shaniece Luke, would file a wrongful death suit against the developmental center and the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, according to the Daily News.
New York State officials recently sent Luke a bill for $11.67 million, seeking medical reimbursement for Medicaid-covered expenses from Aug. 6, 2002, until the day Rose died, Aug. 6, 2012.
"They're going to punish these people because they brought it to view of justice," Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, who is an advocate for the disabled, told the Daily News.
Weisenberg called the bill "retaliation" and said it was "an outrage" to ask someone who lost a loved one from abusive care to repay such an extreme amount.
According to the Daily News, the New York medical examiner concluded that Rose's death was a homicide but didn't notify the district attorney's office until some four months after Rose had died. Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department, told the newspaper that investigators didn't find any signs of criminal conduct but left the case open.
Luke alleges that there was a history of abuse at the hands of her brother's caregivers and that in one incident, she claims that three staffers at Fineson held Rose down while other staff watched. She is seeking unspecified damages in a federal lawsuit, the Daily news reports.
"Rasheen Rose did not receive care remotely associated with the amount of money collected by OPWDD for Rasheen Rose over the 10-year period," attorney Aaron DePass wrote in a response to the agency's bill on Luke's behalf, the Daily News reports. "It is clear that the quality of care he received does not warrant any payment for services whatsoever."
Read more at the Daily News.