At Mishkind Kulwicki Law, we are interested in cases involving children. A recent medical journal reports on one disturbing trend that is likely to result in a lawsuit. The journal Pediatrics reports that about one-half of children with autism wander away from caregivers often putting themselves in harm’s way. Wandering (or elopement) by autistic children puts them at risk of drowning or getting hit by a car. According to the study, of autistic kids who escaped the eye of caregivers, “65% had close calls with getting hit in traffic, and 24% were at risk of drowning during their escapade.” Sadly, the authors concluded that “
There are numerous settings where autistic children are placed under the care of of someone other than their parent: babysitters, school outings, school after-care programs, bus or other transportation, day care, camps, and therapists or other healthcare providers. Properly trained caregivers should be alerted to these children’s propensity to wander, become distracted or lost, and/or fail to heed obvious dangers like ponds, lakes, rivers, swimming pools or traffic. Under Ohio law, when a caregiver fails to properly monitor and supervise an autistic child, they may be subject to a claim for negligence.
Cases involving children carry special considerations in terms of damages and family dynamics. Often times, parents are unmarried, separated or divorced when a child is injured, so their relative rights in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit becomes an issue. Likewise, when parents experience injury or death of a beloved child, damages are often measured by noneconomic factors, such as grief, emotional distress and suffering. We have experience with these circumstances and can answer all of your questions.
I am so very sorry for what you are going through. My daughter is a social worker in Ohio that has significant experience with children on the autism spectrum and I know how difficult it can be to get the right type of service and how difficult it can be to find the right attorney to fight for your child’s protection. I do not know of any attorneys in California that handle this type of claim and I do not know where in California you live. If you would like to email me directly with more information I would be happy to see if I can find someone that you could obtain a second opinion from to see if there is any possibility of a claim being pursued to protect your son and to protect others that are impacted in a similar manner. I truly feel your pain and will I can’t make you any promises I will see if I can try to get you some names and lead you in the right direction.
Hi i read your article I live in California my son is 17 years old highly autistic non verbal he has the capacity of a 2 to 5 year old 3 years ago my son got off campus the teacher did not call me until 45 min later and ghe police were never called when I got there to the school his teacher explained to me she was warming up his food in microwave when she turned around he was gone the rest of the staff had taken the other kids to lunch now I found out that this was my sons second attempt that day to run from her and she still turned her back I got an attorney for him since then my son has been home schooled I filed a law suit against the district but we had to go to mediation even the mediator was not familiar with autistim he said he read up on it basically what he told me Is no harm done and I was force to settle for 30 thousand 10 thousand of that went to the attorney so 20 thousand is in a blocked account I just gound out now at my sons IEP meeting last month that we were lied to the district coordinator told us that at the time Dominick got off campus the school was not secured and on lock down when at mediation j was told the school was on lock down and secured my find attorney looked at me and said we were mislead not only that my don should of had a 1 on 1 this whole time which the district failed to do I have I signed contract with the district that certain services are suppose to be provided for my son which they have failed to do and just recently my sons teacher who comes to the house for home school yelled at my son really loud and forced him to sit down had did this in front of my sons aba Theraphist and another teacher I complained to the district and I was told at my dons IEP meeting there was no wrong doing and his aba Theraphist agreed well after the meeting my sons aba Theraphist called me she said they lied to me that’s not what she said of course it was inappropriate behavior that’s why she reported it since all this has happen my son had never been on medication he mos takes Xanax 3 times a day clonidine 3 times a day Resperdone 4 times a day a still full of anxiety he has lost 25 pounds he scars all the time he can’t sleep doesn’t want to eat his aba Theraphist seems to think he is suffering from pstd because when his teacher yelled at him it brought back all that stuff he went through when he was at school my son attempted several times to leave campus and the school did nothing to prevent it Iam just finding this all out my sons inland worker told me to report everything to the state for investigation my sons attorney has no desire to file a violation of civil rights I feel like my sons rights have been violated she said it would be hard to prove damages I have pictures and videos and him pacing from the anxiety and infection on his feet from the pacing and my don sees s nuerologist but this month Iam taking him to see s psychiatrist sorry this is so long but I felt I needed to let you know everything of what’s going on I know you are in Ohio do you k ow of any attorneys in ca who will take this case my son doesn’t sleep he’d scared all the time he’s afraid some is going to hurt him he’s always holding my hand and when he does sleep I have to lay there with him thank you