MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - A judge Tuesday dismissed the state's case against a Madison County group home, saying the state did not meet the burden of proof needed to remove the residents from the care provider.
Monday, the Alabama Department of Mental Health (DMH) argued that Restore Care, Inc. had 140 reported instances of abuse and neglect since October involving its mentally disabled residents. A state investigator testified that the volume and nature of the complaints -- including reports of bruised residents, medication errors, delayed medical treatment and a report of a staff member striking a resident -- led the state to decide it needed to step in to remove residents.
But Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney, who has operated Restore Care since 2001, strongly denied the state's claims during hearing testimony. She addressed some of the claims, saying the state had incomplete or incorrect information and said the allegation that a staffer hit a resident was absolutely not true.
After considering arguments on both sides, a judge denied DMH's petition for a temporary restraining order and dismissed the case against Restore Care Tuesday. The judge said, "...the Department failed to establish that the hardship imposed on Restore Care by removing and relocating its residents would not unreasonably outweigh the benefit accruing to the Department... granting the preliminary injunction would impose a serious hardship on the very individuals sought to be protected by the Department."
Dr. Lloyd-Turney tells WHNT News 19 this means their doors are still open, and "the truth prevailed." She is very pleased. Her legal team tells us they're still waiting on an administrative hearing with the DMH on the company's decertification, but for now, Restore Care will "continue business as usual."
"I don't know what everybody else is going to do, but I know who holds the future. And I'm going to put it in His hands and I am going to work hard to make sure we can prove that Restore Care is a safe place, because it is," said Lloyd-Turney.
State attorneys have said if they did not get a favorable ruling, they planned to appeal. Now they tell us that will be under review until they finish evaluating the ruling and its effects on the decertification.
We're working to find out more details. We will update you on-air, online, and on social media when we learn more.