Vidyut Gopal and Parul Agrawal are being sued in California over allegations their autistic son is a public nuisance and created a chilling effect on an otherwise ‘hot’ local real estate market. The lawsuit was filed by two neighbours of the couple who were ultimately forced to leave their home of 7 years in Sunnyvale, a major city in Silicon Valley.
Vidyut an engineer at a company there said they are pretty devastated but are doing their best to cope. The couple hired caregivers to give the child special medication and put him in therapeutic classes after neighbours complained that the boy had pulled some children’s hair and bit a woman.
The lawsuit claims that the boy’s disruptive behaviour effected the local real estate market as people feel constrained on the marketability of their homes. Last October a Santa Clara Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction against the couple to ensure their son does not strike, or assault anyone in the neighbourhood or their personal property.
Next week a judge will hear arguments whether the plaintiffs should have access to the boy’s school and medical records.
Parul who is a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Centre said they are focused on helping their son and hope the case will raise awareness on autism and educate the public on the challenges families of autistic children face. Meanwhile the couple decided not to return to their former home which they have now rented to another family.