Teen’s Mother Sues DC Government and Maryland Hospital for Wrongful Death

In US District Court, the mother of Karl Grimes, the 18-year-old who died from injuries he sustained during a fight with two youths while staying at the Oak Hill Youth Center in 2005, is suing the DC government and Prince George’s Hospital Center in Maryland for wrongful death. Patricia Grimes is seeking $5 million from the hospital for alleged negligent care and $15 million from the DC government for its failure to properly staff and supervise the detention facility.

According to Patricia’s wrongful death lawsuit, Karl was sent to Oak Hill in August 2005 because of a probation violation. He was beaten and knocked unconscious by a number of Oak Hill residents on November 23. The lawsuit contends that city officials knew that the detention center lacked the adequate staffing to properly supervise residents and make sure they were safe. Patricia also claims there was a “significant delay” in getting her son the care that he needed and that he would be alive today if city workers had done their jobs correctly.

After the assault incident, Karl was treated by on-site medical workers before he was taken to Prince George’s Hospital Center. He appeared to be recovering until two days later, when his condition deteriorated. On November 26, Grimes was declared brain dead.

This is not the first time that the Oak Hill Youth Center has come under fire for conditions at the DC detention facility. Drug use, overcrowding, and violence among residents are some of the problems the center has been cited for over the years.

Juvenile detention facilities and prisons are supposed to make sure that residents, detainees, and inmates are not placed in situations where they may sustain injuries or die. Failure to provide that care can lead to a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Grounds for filing a personal injury claim against a juvenile detention facility may include abuse, sexual assault, assault and battery, slip and fall, police brutality, negligence, or premises liability. There are specific steps that must be taken to file your claim or lawsuit against a local, state, or federal government.

Mother Sues City, Md. Hospital Over Teen’s Death, Washington Post, November 26, 2008
District youth dies after fight at Oak Hill in Laurel, Gazette.net, November 29, 2005

Related Web Resources:

Behind Oak Hill’s Fences, Violence and Uncertainty, Washington Post, August 2, 2004
Medical Malpractice, Justia

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