Man's death in state facility spurs call for 911 legislation

June 08, 2018 - 1:12 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The parents of a 34-year-old man who died at a state-run facility for the disabled are urging New York lawmakers to require such facilities to report cases of abuse, neglect or unexplained deaths to 911.

Christopher Blair was found dead in his room at the Valley Ridge facility last April after complaining of difficulty breathing the day before. Judy Merkley says caregivers ignored her pleas to help her son.

The woman and her husband were at the state Capitol this week to lobby for legislation that would have required staff to call 911 when her son was found. They say that would ensure an independent investigation by local authorities.

Those investigations are now handled by the state. Officials say a review of Blair's death is ongoing.

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