The parents of a 1-year-old child with special needs are suing Los Angeles County, alleging their son died in 2018 because his foster mother was inadequately trained and failed to give him emergency care at her Valinda home when he was having breathing problems.
The lawsuit was submitted in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Marcos Salcedo and Rayleen Rayleen Ramirez, alleging wrongful death and negligence in the death of Marcos Salcedo Jr. The pair are seeking unspecified damages.
A representative for Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services issued a statement saying DCFS “cannot comment on any pending claim, litigation or lawsuit involving the department at this time.”
“The safety of the more than two million children in Los Angeles County is the highest priority and fundamental mission of the Department of Children and Family Services,” the statement says. “Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, loving and stable home. We share this responsibility with law enforcement, health and mental health professionals, community service providers, school personnel, family members, neighbors, clergy and other community members.”
According to the suit, the boy was placed as a dependent child in the custody of the Juvenile Court and later in the care of a foster family living on Bromley Avenue in Valinda. The latter placement was inappropriate because the foster mother was already overwhelmed with other children and dependents, making it impossible for her to care for a 1-year-old, special-needs child, the suit alleges.
About 9:05 p.m. on Sept. 4, 2018, the boy began choking on an object and ran to the foster mother while crying and grasping for air, but she “failed to provide CPR or any life-saving measures to try to save (the boy’s) life,” the suit alleges.
The boy died less than 90 minutes later at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, according to the plaintiffs.
The suit alleges the agency that arranged the foster placement was not properly screened by Los Angeles County officials, and further alleges that county officials failed to adequately train and supervise the foster mother.
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