More Than Three Dozen Fined For Violating 'Danielle's Law'
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 3, 2006
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY--Four years ago today, Danielle Gruskowski had a fever.
As the body temperature of the 32-year-old woman climbed to a dangerous 105 degrees, staff at her Edison, New Jersey group home gave her Tylenol and changed her wet bedding. Instead of calling 9-1-1, the staff waiting until she stopped breathing the next morning, then drove her to a doctor's office. Gruskowski, who had Rett syndrome, a condition similar to autism that only affects women, could not be resuscitated. Two hours later, she was pronounced dead.
One year later, Governor James E. McGreevey signed "Danielle's Law", which requires caregivers for persons with developmental disabilities to call 9-1-1 in life-threatening emergencies, or risk facing fines.
According to the Star-Ledger, over the past three years New Jersey's Department of Human Services has issued $5,000 fines against 38 workers in both state-run institutions and privately run group homes for violating the law.
Since the law's passage, caregivers called for an ambulance 9,789 times, but there have been 61 instances where workers failed to call 9-1-1 when they should have, according to state records.
"38 fined in push to shield disabled" (The Star-Ledger)