UPDATE: Lawsuit filed after Orange Grove resident's death - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Lawsuit filed after Orange Grove resident's death

Posted: Updated:
Orange Grove resident Carrie Parkey in a photo provided by OGC. Orange Grove resident Carrie Parkey in a photo provided by OGC.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The family of an Orange Grove Center resident who was found dead inside a transport van in April is suing the non-profit organization.

Carrie Parkey's sister, Edith Parkey, is asking for $7.5 million from Orange Grove. Parkey is seeking "compensatory and punitive damages for the personal injuries and the wrongful death" of her brother.

The 60-year-old man was a resident at the Orange Grove Center for more than 30 years. 

READ MORE | State has investigated Orange Grove client deaths before

"I'm just looking for closure and find out what happened to him," Melford Parkey, the victim's brother said.

On August 30th, family members filed a lawsuit asking for $7.5 million from the Orange Grove Center.

Attorney Jim Logan is representing the family.

"I know that their intent is to do good, to take care of people who need to be taken care of. This is not an attack on them, but there's some lapse, which should not have occurred," Jim Logan, the family's attorney said.

Investigators said Parkey was found dead seven hours after he was marked absent from his day facility.

The lawsuit claims Parkey died from hyperthermia and dehydration.

A copy of the medical examiner's report shows the man died from hyperthermia. That's when someone overheats.

The report also lists the manner of death as an accident.

The lawsuit says Orange Grove "through its carelessness, neglect and failure to supervise caused Mr. Parkey to be rendered helpless and incapable of escaping the van."

However, officials at the non-profit said safety is a top priority.

The Orange Grove Center's Director of Development, Heidi Hoffecker, responded to Channel 3's questions regarding the lawsuit with the following statement:

Carrie Parkey was a well-loved member of the Orange Grove family for many, many years, and we continue to grieve his loss. We take very seriously the safety, health, and wellbeing of all the individuals we serve.  Orange Grove has and continues to cooperate fully with all investigating authorities and agencies regarding Mr. Parkey.  Because of the ongoing investigation, federal and state privacy protections, including HIPAA, and because the matter is now in litigation, we cannot comment on any substantive issues regarding Mr. Parkey.

Aside from money, the Parkey family wants the case to be tried before a jury and an apology.

"I would personally like the van driver to apologize to the family for letting that happen," Parkey said.

A spokeswoman for the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office, Melydia Clewell, said once the investigation is finished, they'll review it and decide how to move forward.

It could take several weeks before Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston reaches a decision.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for more details on this developing story.

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