KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – A teenager with an IQ of 68 died after a family court detention center staff member shrugged off her complaint that she could not breathe and told her, “Oh, just crawl up the stairs,” the girl’s mother claims in court.
Nesly Destil, mother of the late Kathia Casseus, sued The Children’s Mercy Hospital, a doctor and nurse there, the Jackson County Family Court Detention Center and six of its employees, including a supervisor, a nurse, a shift leader and three of its staff members, in Jackson County Court.
Kathia Casseus “was born without a thyroid and had a functional IQ of about 68,” her mother says in the complaint.
In August 2011, Kathia, “an unlicensed driver who had never driven a car, took her mother’s car to go for a ride,” the complaint states. “She had an accident in which she struck a carport at a local apartment complex. This resulted in a chain reaction that caused the multi-car carport to collapse and cause property damage. For this adolescent act, she was sentenced to an 8-month rehabilitation program in the Jackson County Family Court System.”
Three months later, “for reasons still unknown to her mother,” Kathia, 16, “was sent to Children’s Mercy Hospital, where Defendants Children’s Mercy Hospital, Delozier, and [defendant Dr. Stephen J.] Schuman prescribed and placed on her body the Ortho Evra birth control patch.”
Kathia’s mother claims the birth control “was not indicated or necessary for Kathia. Information and history of injury and death from this most dangerous form of birth control is well published,” according to the complaint.
In February this year, three months after being put on birth control, Kathia began complaining of heart pain and shortness of breath, her mom says.
According to the complaint: “Defendant [Darnell] Lowery kidded her, saying, ‘Oh, just crawl up the stairs. My grandkids do it all the time.’ Defendant [Glenda] King asked Kathia, ‘What’s going on with you?’ while Kathia was still on the stairs. After Kathia complained for a third time of pain and suffering, defendant King said, ‘Well, I’m gonna call the supervisor,’ and called defendant [shift leader John L.] Brown. Defendant King gave Kathia ibuprofen to ‘quiet’ her. Defendant Brown then told Kathia to go to her room and to lie down until it was time to clean up.”
Later that morning, Kathia told King again that her chest hurt and she could not breathe, the mother says. She claims her daughter said “‘I don’t feel good again. I can’t breathe, you know. I think I’m gonna pass out.’ She then dropped to the floor.”
Kathia’s mother claims that “Defendant Lowery assumed it was child’s play and said she looked like she wasn’t being ‘compliant.'” Three defendants took Kathia by the arms and legs to “took her to segregation,” the mom says. On the way there, Kathia said, “Oh, I can’t breathe. It hurts. I can’t walk.”
Kathia’s mom claims that “defendant [Lisa] Bara, the on-call nurse was called. She did not answer the phone call and a voicemail was left. Defendant Bara didn’t respond until after 9-1-1 was already called,” the complaint states.
In the “segregation cell,” Kathia yelled for five to seven minutes that she couldn’t breathe, her mother says, “but eventually went quiet and she looked like she was sleeping, lying on her side with her eyes closed.”
Brown checked her pulse about an hour after Kathia was put into segregation, “and found she was not breathing,” the mom says. “At this time, 9-1-1- was finally called.”
She was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where she was declared dead.
Destil seeks damages for medical malpractice, civil rights violations and negligence. She is represented by Daniel DeFeo, of Lexington, Mo., and Brian Costello, of Kansas City.