The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is being sued by the grandparents of a 2-year-old who died in February, claiming negligence.
Family and Youth Intervention Services was also named in the lawsuit. The group is a private, nonprofit organization that provides care for the community in the mental health arena.
On the morning of Feb. 16, the toddler's lifeless body was found in his bed by his mother, according to the police report. The child was in the care of his stepfather the night before his death.
According to the police, the toddler had bruises on his face and head as well as brain injuries. The medical examiner's office ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma.
Tulsa County District Court documents show that the stepfather was arrested the day the boy was found lifeless and then charged with child neglect and child abuse murder. The stepfather was at the home when police arrived, telling officers he kicked the child in the face after the toddler bit him.
The stepfather did not provide the toddler with adequate medical care after losing consciousness from the kick to the face, according to police. The report also states that the child was left alone for hours following the incident.
The mother of the boy was arrested two weeks after his death and charged with permitting child abuse by injury and child neglect.
The lawsuit filed against DHS and Family and Youth Intervention Services was filed on Dec. 19 by the toddler's grandparents, who are seeking more than $10,000 in damages.
The lawsuit claims that DHS and Family and Youth Intervention Services did not protect the child from harm despite being notified multiple times that he was not receiving proper care. Both organizations had also visited the home multiple times, including a visit by DHS the day prior to the child's death.
The lawsuit is claiming wrongful death and gross negligence in the death of the toddler.
An experienced wrongful death attorney in Oklahoma can assist you in your legal case and explain your rights following the tragic loss of a loved one.
Source: Tulsa World, "Grandparents of 2-year-old who died in February sue DHS and local agency alleging negligence," Paris Burris, Dec. 19, 2016