Judge Trims Couple’s Lawsuit Over Death of Special Needs Son

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A judge has dismissed a foster child agency as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the parents of a 1-year-old special needs child. The parents alleged their son died in 2018 because his foster mother was inadequately trained and failed to give him emergency care at her Valinda home when he was having breathing problems.

During a hearing Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Crowley ruled in favor of Alpha Treatment Center’s motion for terminating sanctions in the complaint brought by Marcos Salcedo and Rayleen Rayleen Ramirez, alleging wrongful death and negligence in the death of Marcos Salcedo Jr.

The judge ruled Ramirez and Salcedo failed to comply with the orders on Jan. 10 and March 2 requiring them to respond to discovery requests from Alpha Treatment Center.

Crowley previously dismissed Los Angeles County as a defendant in March 2021 and the remaining defendant in the case is the foster mother, Margarita Diaz Rubio. Trial is scheduled Oct. 12.

According to the suit filed in October 2019, the boy was placed as a dependent child in the custody of the Juvenile Court and later in the care of a foster family living on Bromley Avenue in Valinda. The latter placement was inappropriate because the foster mother was already overwhelmed with other children and dependents, making it impossible for her to care for a 1-year-old, special-needs child, the suit alleged.

About 9:05 p.m. on Sept. 4, 2018, the boy began choking on an object and ran to the foster mother while crying and grasping for air, but she “failed to provide CPR or any life-saving measures to try to save (the boy’s) life,” the suit alleged.

The boy died less than 90 minutes later at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina, according to the plaintiffs.

Salcedo and Ramirez have been representing themselves since Crowley granted a motion by their attorneys to be relieved as their counsel last Sept. 8.

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