Banks & Jones, a personal injury law firm based in Knoxville, has filed a lawsuit against D&S Community Services, Sevita Healthcare, and a caretaker at the facility. The lawsuit alleges that neglect by the caretaker caused the victim, Dillon Cox, to sustain severe burn injuries all over his lower extremities. Another victim, known as “Jane Doe 1,” is also involved. The family is seeking $10 million.

“What happened to Dillon is unconscionable,” said T. Scott Jones, who is representing Dillon and his family. “The burns to his lower extremities were so severe that the skin was sloughing off his feet. No one should be treated like this, and we’re going to make sure that the facility, its owner Sevita Healthcare, and any staff members involved are held to account.”

What happened to Dillon Cox

Dillon Cox is 24 years old. He also has cerebral palsy, which has rendered him largely nonverbal. Because of his special needs, he lives at a residential facility run by D&S Community Services, which is owned and operated by Sevita Healthcare. His parents, Gerry and Hannah Cox, call Dillon their “miracle,” because he survived an accident while still in the womb. They believed that their son was safe and cared for.

Instead, he was subjected to neglect, if not abuse, at the facility. Per the lawsuit, Dillon was put in a shower where the temperature of the water was at least 140 degrees. Water at that temperature can cause severe burn (scald) injuries in three seconds. The Cox family does not know how long Dillon was in that dangerous position, but he suffered first-, second-, and third-degree burns.

Furthermore, the Coxes were not told how severe Dillon’s burns were. Per Mrs. Cox, the family received multiple conflicting reports about what happened. Because Dillon is non-verbal, he can neither confirm nor deny any of the stories.

The lawsuit alleges negligence by D&S Community Services and Sevita Healthcare, as well as the caretaker who put Dillon in that scalding water; at this time, that caretaker is facing criminal charges. The lawsuit also names “Jane Doe” as a plaintiff because it is believed that there is another resident who was harmed in this same way.

This is not the first time a caretaker has been dangerously neglectful. In 2023, Sevita Healthcare and D&S Community Services were both named as defendants in a lawsuit when one of their caretakers left a vulnerable adult in a hot car with no air conditioning on, while that caretaker took a walk around a park in Memphis.

The family is seeking $10 million in damages.

About Banks & Jones

Banks & Jones is an award-winning Knoxville-based law firm focused on personal injury, wrongful death, and criminal defense cases. Boasting more than 1,050 5-star Google reviews, the firm’s reputation for aggressive and proactive litigation is known throughout all of Tennessee. The attorneys have been recognized by multiple objective ratings services and named to The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Firm founder and partner T. Scott Jones is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only association for trial lawyers and judges, as well as the National College for DUI Defense, the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association to certify attorneys as specialists in DUI Defense Law.