Friday, November 07, 2008

Lawsuit claims that a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy starved to death while in the custody of a state foster care home

Detroit, Michigan - The Detroit News reports that a lawsuit has been filed against the Monroe Foster Home in connection with the death of a nine-year-old boy with quadriplegia who had been entrusted with his care when his mother could no longer afford to care for him. According to the report:
Johnny Dragomir was found dead on March 9, 2007, beside his bed in the Monroe Foster Home, 20600 Orangelawn, according to the lawsuit. An autopsy found no food or liquid in the boy's stomach and the Wayne County Medical Examiner's report listed malnutrition as the cause of his death.

The boy had withered from 5 feet tall and 80 pounds to 40 pounds while in the foster home, according to Arnold Reed, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit against operators of the home and numerous others, including a registered nurse, dietician and the company contracted by Wayne County to oversee foster placements. Reed said state officials also will be sued next week in a companion complaint in federal district court.

According to Reed, those entrusted with planning and overseeing the care of Johnny Dragomir failed to make certain he was fed. Indeed, documents show that between Jan. 29, 2006, and March 9, 2007, the boy's feeding chart had 500 blank entries, indicating his caregivers were aware he wasn't eating, Reed says. Other documents cited in the lawsuit indicate concerns about the youth's plummeting weight, but Reed claims no one acted on those concerns.