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Federal court fines care provider Live Better $1.8 million after bathwater burns death – ABC News


A disability care provider has been fined $1.8 million for breaching standards of care over the death of an Indigenous woman who suffered burns to up to 40 per cent of her body in a bath.

Kyah Lucas died in hospital as a result of the burns in February 2022, five days after receiving bathing support services from LiveBetter.

The not-for-profit — a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider since July 2018 — was taken to court by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards commission over “fundamental failures” to protect Ms Lucas.

The Federal Court heard the 28-year-old lived with her family at their home in Orange, in the state’s central west, and had been a LiveBetter client since at least 2009.

She had multiple disabilities and health conditions, including Cornelia de Lange syndrome, which meant she was non-verbal, had thin skin and had difficulty regulating her temperature.

The court heard LiveBetter provided bathing support to her on more than 80 occasions between April 2021 and February 2022, with two workers present on each occasion.

But risk assessments failed to identify the risk that Ms Lucas may be burned.

The court previously heard that when Ms Lucas was removed from the bath after one or two minutes, the staff noticed her skin was peeling and the temperature panel was set at 60 degrees Celcius instead of the usual 40 to 42C.


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