Family Files $50M Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Health Care Agency

A Virginia Beach family is suing a health care agency for $50 million for a man who died in a mobile home fire.

Josh Smith, who was born with cerebral palsy, lived in a trailer home while under the 24/7 care of Hand in Heart Home Health. The mobile home up went up in flames and killed Smith and his disabled roommate, both of whom couldn't escape the fire.

The lawsuit accuses Hand in Heart Home Health of failing to send in a fill-in nurse to replace Josh Smith's usual nurse, who could not be present during the night of the fire.

“It's absolutely callous on the part of the company,” Eric Washburn, the family's attorney, said. “These companies and employees can't just take a paycheck and push the individual to the side. They've got to be held accountable for their negligent acts.”

Owen Carter, Smith's father, claims that negligence was the cause of his son's death. “I try not to think about what he had to go through, and when I heard there was one loud scream, I got cold chills,” Carter said.