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Estate of Cornelius Frederick sues for $50M after he died after being restrained at Michigan facility by staff

The estate of Cornelius Frederick has filed a lawsuit against Lakeside Academy and ten of its employees for $50 million after the teen passed away after he went into cardiac arrest in April of 2020 at the residential facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The lawsuit was filed on Sept. 30 by the estate’s representative, Frederick’s aunt Tenia Goshay. According to court records,  Frederick was an orphaned ward of the state at the time of the incident, CNN reported.

The suit claims the facility’s “deliberate indifference, willful wanton and malicious actions” let to Fredrick being “suffocated to death by eight grown men after being thrown to the ground for the ‘crime’ of throwing a sandwich on the floor.”

Fredericks was living at the center intended for youths ages 12-18 placed there by the foster care system or by their parents or guardians in order to receive behavioral health services.

On April 29, 2020, the 16-year-old allegedly threw part of a sandwich in the cafeteria. The lawsuit claims Lakeside staff proceeded to use an “improper restraint” on the teen and “continued to suffocate him for a prolonged period of time,” although he yelled out he couldn’t breathe. The suit says it was at least “six to seven male staff” were on him for approx. 12 minutes, according to a 2020 report from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services given to the outlet.

Frederick would eventually go into cardiac arrest along with anoxic brain damage became unconscious. The teen was taken to a local hospital and placed on life support. Two days later, on May 1, he passed away.

Geoffrey Fieger, an attorney for the estate, told the news outlet that the lawsuit was filed after his office learned of how the defendants “monetized the business of children facilities across the United States.” “We fully understand the ‘money over children’ concept,” Fieger added.

This suit also  accused Sequel Youth and Family Services, the owner of the Academy, of having prioritized the business over its residents. The suit alleges,  “as a custom, practice, and/or policy,” Sequel Youth and Family Services “pressured its facilities (and employees) to operate at or over maximum capacity so as to order maximize profits, regardless of the level of care provided to the children.”

Three employees at the academy have since been charged in Frederick’s death. Michael Mosley, Zachary Solis, and nurse Heather McLogan were all charges with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse in 2020.

McLogan, who told investigators she didn’t render immediate aid to Frederick because she believed he was “faking,” took a plea bargain in July and pleaded no contest to third-degree child abuse. She was sentenced to 18 months of probation on Sept. 27 and agreed to testify against Mosley and Solis.

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Author: The Black Detour Team