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Family Sues After Boy Dies In Juvenile Detention


The family of a 16-year-old boy has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a juvenile detention center after their son died of a fentanyl overdose. According to the suit, the boy was vomiting and suspected of using fentanyl. He was taken to the infirmary, but returned to his cell the next day. On the day after that, he was placed in a cell with an alleged fentanyl dealer. He was found dead the next morning.

The parents claim that the facility did not do enough to protect their son who was addicted to drugs, receiving drug counseling treatment, and diagnosed with acute PTSD and other related issues. The parents believe that a fundamental lack of care led to their son’s death.

It remains unclear why a 16-year-old was in juvenile detention on drug charges. However, by the time the government is taking kids off the street, placing them into detention for drug abuse, and restricting their rights, they do have a duty of care to ensure that the youths are cared for. In this case, they took a child with a drug problem off the streets and gave him access to a drug that ended his life.

Understanding the duty of care

 Since the government has the authority to deprive a citizen of their rights, they also have the duty to ensure that citizens are cared for when they’re incarcerated. This is especially true when you’re dealing with at-risk youth. The youth has no choice in the matter, the family has no choice in the matter, so the conditions that the youth is kept under have to be pristine. If you’re taking youths off the streets for drug abuse, then the facilities you care for them in have to be free of drugs. If you cannot keep the facilities free of drugs, then you cannot take youths off the streets for drug offenses. It wouldn’t make sense and would lead to preventable deaths.

So, the lapses in care here are actionable. The plaintiffs will be able to point out elements of negligence that occurred and how a better policy for dealing with at-risk youth would have prevented this boy’s death. However, by the time you’re contributing deaths to the very thing you’re attempting to prevent, it’s a good opportunity to reevaluate policy from the ground up.

Chances are good that the plaintiffs will win this case. They can likely force the matter before a jury, make some variation of the argument made above, and convince a jury that the state’s intervention on behalf of at-risk youth isn’t achieving what it’s supposed to be achieving. Since people don’t like the government interfering with their lives, they’ll want to punish the government for taking control and then losing control.

Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today 

Payer Law represents the interests of Miami residents who have been injured due to acts of negligence. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.


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