Riverside Family Sues Private Nurse After Boy With Disabilities Burned by Chemicals: Attorney

Local news
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

The family of a 4-year-old Riverside boy with severe disabilities was suing a private nurse, alleging she burned their son with some type of chemical that caused severe pain and permanent scarring.

Chris Bautista and Abbey Michel told KTLA their son Adam was injured by a woman they trusted.

"You think you can trust someone you've known for four years and your baby comes home burned," father Chris Bautista said.

Adam was born with a condition where his brain didn't fully develop.

"That basically means he is in a vegetative state," mother Abby Michel said.

When the couple went to a family party last March, they left Adam with Debra Hunniford -- a nurse and employee of Nu Era Home Health Agency.

When Hunniford brought Adam home, he was burned so badly the couple rushed him to the hospital where he remained for a week, according to Bautista.

Hunniford claimed the burns were caused by hot water during a bath, couple said.

The couple's attorney didn't believe Adam's injuries were consistent with burns from a bath so he ordered tests to be performed on the boy's clothing.

Tests done on the T-shirt Adam was wearing came back positive for sodium hydroxide, according to attorney Mark Peacock.

Sodium hydroxide is a common chemical used in products like Liquid Drano, Peacock said.

"It is also used in the process of making crystal meth," he said.

The family has filed a civil suit against Hunniford and Nu Era claiming the nurse not only burned Adam, causing permanent damage, but she also withheld medical care.

KTLA's efforts to contact Debra Hunniford were unsuccessful.

Nu Era Home Health Agency released a statement to KTLA, disputing the allegations in the lawsuit.

"Nu-Era Health Agency, Inc. has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Adam Bautista. We dispute all allegations raised by the Plaintiff," the statement read. "Nu-Era is not a proper defendant. At the time of the alleged incident, Adam Bauista was in the care and custody of Debra Hunniford, who was providing off-duty baby-sitting services in her own home. Ms. Hunniford was not working for Nu-Era the evening the incident occurred . Any acts committed by Debra Hunniford were not authorized or sanctioned by Nu-Era. "

Most Popular

Latest News

More News