The family of a special-needs teenage girl who died earlier this year while in the custody of the Jackson County juvenile detention center filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week. The suit names the Jackson County Family Court’s detention center, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and several medical personnel and detention center employees as defendants.
In November of 2011, sixteen year old Kathia Casseus was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital and prescribed a birth control patch for “reasons still unknown to her mother.” The birth control patch that she was prescribed is known to increase the risks of developing clots. According to the lawsuit, Casseus complained to her health care providers on three separate occasions after being prescribed the patch.
On February 21, 2012, she complained of heart palpitations and foot pain. Four days later, she complained that she could not breathe. On the third occasion, she complained of chest pains and was placed in a segregation cell. Although Casseus continued to complain, she was never given the health care she needed. She collapsed 45 minutes after being placed in the segregation cell and was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy revealed that Casseus died from blood clotting in her lungs.
The suit accuses Children’s Mercy and its employees of medical malpractice in prescribing the birth control patch. The suit also alleges that the detention center’s staff violated Casseus’s civil rights.