Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 22, 2018 – A Guatemalan mother is suing the U.S. government for the wrongful death of her child who died after being in detention in a Texas ICE facility.
The 19-month old child and her mom initially crossed the Rio Grande seeking asylum. They were apprehended and temporarily detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
The lawsuit alleges the child was happy and healthy when she arrived in the United States and when medical personnel at the residential center processed her, they noted that there were no health issues. The mother and daughter were then put into a room with five other mothers and their children, several of which were ill. One child in particular had a constant cough, was lethargic and had a runny nose. That child’s mother indicated they had been denied medical care.
Subsequently the 19-month old child got ill and her health worsened over several weeks. Then the mother and child were transferred to New Jersey to stay with family. Although the child was cleared by a licensed vocational nurse before the transfer, it is alleged that the nurse was not medically qualified to perform that task.
According to the former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics who read and reviewed the child’s Dilley detention center file, it was clear staff did not meet the “basic standard of care” and that they also carried out “troubling practices,” such as the use unsupervised non-physicians.
The standard of care for a persistent illness in a child is to get emergency care. No one at the ICE detention facility sought such care or arranged for IV antibiotics.
The sick child spent six weeks in hospital being treated for a life-threatening respiratory infection. She died on May 10, 2018. Her mom filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Eloy, Arizona, the contractor for ICE running the Dilley facility. The lawsuit is asking the court for $40 million in damages.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say the most common types of incidents causing child deaths include:
· Car accidents
· Firearm incidents
· Pedestrian accidents
· Medical malpractice
“Every case is certainly different and each must be carefully and compassionately evaluated to determine damages that may be pursued in a settlement or trial,” indicated Austin wrongful death attorney Brooks Schuelke of Schuelke Law, PLLC, not involved in this case. “Additionally, a death claim may involve recovery for medical expenses and damages for any pain and suffering a child endured before death.”
Schuelke Law PLLC
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