The Chicago cerebral palsy lawyers at our firm help families with loved ones with CP in a variety of contexts. For one thing, we work with those whose children developed cerebral palsy as a result of inadequate care during their birth by medical professionals. The condition can arise in a wide range of ways-some preventable, some not. However, in many cases things like oxygen deprivation during birth play a key role. That oxygen deprivation can often be stopped if medical providers act quickly in response to certain signs of fetal distress.
Our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys help families in other ways. For example, we help those who have received inadequate care at public or private institutions where some individuals with conditions like cerebral palsy live. Blog readers, for instance, are likely aware of the poor conditions of some homes in our area where children with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy live. Over the years many of these children have died in preventable ways because the care they received at these institutions was far from adequate. The law allows family members in these situations to hold the facility accountable for its conduct.
Recently, WSBTV published a story on yet another context where the death of a child with cerebral palsy has legal ramifications. A cerebral palsy lawsuit has been filed by a father who claims that his son with special-needs was killed because of improper restraints used by those at his school. The son was 18-years old at the time of his death. He suffered from muscular dystrophy as well as cerebral palsy and was unable to walk or speak.
The tragedy struck when the teen had an “improvised restraint” placed around his neck by a special-needs teacher while he was in class. The injury attorney hired by the family explained that the teacher “fastened this neck brace not for any medical reason, but to force his neck in a position to look at her.” Unfortunately, the brace actually obstructed the teen’s breathing. The obstruction was such that the child needed to be taken to a hospital on several different occasions when the brace was used. However, regardless, the teacher kept using the brace.
The father claims that he specifically told the teacher to stop using this procedure, because he knew that it was too great a medical risk. According to the suit, however, the brace continued to be used even after the complaints. Last year, following a medical emergency, the child died at home. Now the family is claiming that the damage caused by the improper neck brace contributed to the teen’s death.
This latest suit is another testament to the many ways that special needs students face many extreme challenges, even in places where they are supposed to be safe-like their school. As this case develops it will be important for those involved to gain a very clear grasp of what led to the boy’s death. Even if the immediate medical emergency which caused his passing was not use of the neck brace, there is a chance that the brace weakened the child in ways that made the immediate injury more likely to occur.
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