Grandmother sues Riverside County social workers over toddler’s fentanyl overdose – San Bernardino Sun

A 14-month-old girl’s grandmother, who died of an overdose of fentanyl last year, said she was unable to remove her child from a drug-addicted mother despite warnings from hospital staff. Sued a social worker.

Alison Kitrel’s paternal grandmother, Hazel Yoshida, filed a proceeding in the US District Court on Riverside on Monday, June 21, alleging illegal death, negligence, and breach of duty. Allison died on June 7, 2020, after being exposed to trace amounts of fentanyl in his parents’ riverside apartment, police said.

Defendants in the proceedings were social workers Marlene Zaragoza and Alejandra Juarez-Espinosa, and their supervisors, David Purcell.

“As a result of what they didn’t do here-as a result of they didn’t act-this kid is dead. I’ll fix it to them,” said Sean McMillan, Yoshida’s lawyer. I did.

According to the proceedings, staff at the Loma Linda University Medical Center contacted the Riverside County Department of Social Services on February 20, 2019, two days after Alison’s birth, to test newborns for amphetamines, barbiturates, and opiates. I warned that it was positive. , As her mother, tephra weights did.

Zaragoza and Juarez-Espinosa have been assigned to the case. Zaragoza was the principal investigator.

Warning about mother’s substance abuse

According to the proceedings, Waite had a history of methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl abuse, was on drugs throughout her pregnancy, and did not seek treatment for her addiction. She was repeatedly admitted to the Loma Linda University Medical Center for drug-related problems in the months before Alison was born, one of whom was discharged against medical advice and returned a few days later. It was.

According to the proceedings, Waite admitted during an interview that he had smoked methamphetamine twice and heroin once within 10 days before giving birth to Allison.

Zaragoza and Juarez-Espinosa also learned during the investigation that they had not purchased baby food, basinettes, clothes and diapers for babies before the weights were born. Hospital staff warned Zaragoza about the weights.

“They clearly told her that Mr. Waite wasn’t coming and were worried that she might be unreliable,” the lawsuit said.

The newborn was allowed to be with the mother

However, instead of detaining Alison or seeking a court order to put the newborn in custody of relatives, social workers, with the consent of their boss David Purcell, allowed the child to be with their mother. Did. They allowed Weight to participate in a “voluntary safety plan” that included a refrain from substance use.

However, as early as March 4, 2019, Zaragoza was informed that Waite had not participated in her program and had failed to report an upcoming drug test. During a home visit on March 13 of that year, Zaragoza told Waite that there were possible consequences if she did not follow her program, according to the proceedings.

According to the proceedings, Purcell and Zaragoza did not report Waite to the police, took care of the heroin-addicted mother and left Allison, ending the case on March 18, 2019.

“With Parcel’s approval, the case was closed and no alerts were applied,” said McMillan.

More than 14 months later, at around 8:15 pm on June 7, 2020, Riverside police called 911 when Waite called her apartment in Ramona Drive’s 3400 block after Alison stopped breathing. Responding, said Ryan Reynoldsback officer.

Railsback said the police officer who responded took her to the hospital when the paramedics arrived and CPRed Alison until she died.

Fentanyl accused death

The detective found evidence of substance use in the apartment and was later determined to have died from an overdose of fentanyl. Traces of synthetic opiates have been found in various parts of the apartment, including sofas, according to Railsback.

Waite and Allison’s father, Colin Kitrel, were arrested on October 19, 2020 and October 8, 2020, respectively, and charged with murder and child abuse. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 1st at the Riverside Superior Court.

“This was a very sad and tragic event, and of course it should never have happened,” Railsback said.

County: No comment

Brooke Federico, a spokeswoman for Riverside County, said the county had not yet filed a complaint and could not comment on the case.

“Our social workers are dedicated to best practices and keeping children safe. We are sad when children suffer from premature death and ponder the circumstances surrounding it.” Federico said in an email. “Our heart is directed at Alison’s family and loved ones.”

McMillan believes that the facts of the case not only justified taking Alison away from her mother, but also needed it, at least until Weight could clean herself.

“This was one of the situations in which an emergency occurred,” McMillan said. “Instead of filing a petition or asking for a petition (court order), which is what a social worker should do, she loosened her child to her mother and said,” Take a drug class. ” “

Grandmother sues Riverside County social workers over toddler’s fentanyl overdose – San Bernardino Sun Source link Grandmother sues Riverside County social workers over toddler’s fentanyl overdose – San Bernardino Sun

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