SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 3, 2014

Father of scalded boys sues Lynn housing agency

LYNN — The father of two young boys who were severely scalded by bathwater in their Lynn apartment last month has filed suit against the nonprofit agency that owns the unit.

The suit, filed Thursday in Salem Superior Court, accuses Affordable Housing Associates of Lynn of negligence, failure to give warning, breach of habitability and infliction of emotional distress.

Leland Young, 3, and Landon Young, 2, were in the care of a baby sitter, Charles Robinson Collins, 21, on the morning of June 18 when they were scalded by water, leaving both with burns over more than 50 percent of their bodies. Both children are undergoing treatment at Shriners Hospital in Boston.

Collins, who lived across the hall from the boys and their father in the building at 263 Essex St., was subsequently charged with child endangerment. He reportedly left the children alone in the bathroom.

But the suit, filed by Joseph Young, the boys’ father, blames Affordable Housing Associates for water temperatures that reportedly reached 131 degrees.

The suit refers to a report in the Lynn Item, quoting a Lynn plumbing inspector, who told the newspaper that the temperature was 19 degrees above the maximum 112 degrees for a shower.

The suit also notes that after the incident, a manager for the building was quoted as saying all of the water heaters in the 263-265 Essex St. complex had been turned down to 112 degrees.

The suit seeks at least $500,000 in damages.

Affordable Housing Associates is a nonprofit, charitable organization, according to its most recent IRS Form 990 (a document filed by tax-exempt organizations).

Massachusetts law typically limits financial liability for charitable organizations, except under limited circumstances.

Messages left for the Young family’s lawyers, Yasi and Yasi, and Affordable Housing’s attorney, Frank DePasquale, were not returned Thursday afternoon.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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