WRAL Investigates

State fining group home where teen was burned

Posted May 3, 2019 7:02 p.m. EDT
Updated May 3, 2019 8:56 p.m. EDT

— The state is fining an assisted living home for people with autism that was the focus of a WRAL News investigation after a teenage resident suffered severe burns.

Josh Bryson, 17, suffered first- and second-degree burns on his upper body in December 2018.

His mother, Mary Bryson, is suing Living With Autism, which operates the group home on Denlee Road, south of Raleigh, claiming her son suffered the burns there. Because Josh Bryson is largely non-verbal, he can't tell anyone exactly what happened.

The state Department of Health and Human Services proposed a $2,000 fine for failing to protect the teenager from harm, abuse or neglect. The agency's 20-page report includes interviews with doctors, caregivers, the director of facility and the Mary Bryson.

Living With Autism continues to deny that Josh Bryson was burned while he was in the group home's care.

Although the exact cause of the burns is unclear, the DHHS report notes that Josh Bryson was put in a shower after an incident in his room. Doctors say his injuries are consistent with a burn caused by liquids.

While admitting no guilt, Living With Autism proposed several corrective actions, including new rules on checking water temperatures at its facilities.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office looked into Josh Bryson's case and charged two Living With Autism employees with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Nicholas Tuttle and Marvin Dyson were described on arrest warrants as the teen's caretakers in a residential treatment facility. The charge accuses the two men of not seeking medical treatment for him.

Both men were terminated after they were charged.