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Press Release: State Agrees to Pay $1.25 Million in Rainier School Wrongful Death Lawsuit

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 16, 2022

Contact: Alexandra Deas

Communications Coordinator, Disability Rights Washington

alexandrad@dr-wa.org | (206) 324-1521 x117

State Agrees to Pay $1.25 Million in Rainier School Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family of JoHanna Pratt, a former resident at the state-run Rainier School in Buckley, has settled their medical neglect and wrongful death lawsuit against Rainier School and the State of Washington for $1.25 million.  

Ms. Pratt died in November 2017 following routine outpatient foot surgery. Medical staff at Rainier ignored the surgeon’s aftercare instructions, and failed to recognize signs of a potentially deadly yet treatable blood clot in her lungs. Ms. Pratt was 33 years old. The state had determined that Ms. Pratt did not need to reside at Rainier school. She was waiting for discharge to the community when she died.

The Pratts were represented by Disability Rights Washington (DRW), and Carney Gillespie PLLP.

Rainier School is one of four state-run institutions for adults with developmental disabilities in Washington State. Multiple investigations conducted by both DRW and state investigators have documented the long and disturbing history at Rainier of resident deaths, sexual assaults, choking, malnourishment, and inadequate medical care. See e.g., Shut Them Down, issued January 2021 (available here [1]).

The settlement in Ms. Pratt’s lawsuit follows a $2.25 million settlement in October of a wrongful death case involving a resident who wandered away from Rainier and died of exposure in January 2020.

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More information on this lawsuit can be found here [2].