Cornelius Fredericks – a 16-year old boy from Michigan, died from a cardiac arrest after he was restrained by at least 7 staff members. His family is filing a lawsuit; they are requesting $100 million in damages.
The incident happened at a residential treatment facility he was staying at. According to reports from eyewitnesses, Cornelius Fredericks threw a portion of his sandwich at another resident at the Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo. The surveillance video confirms that a staff member spoke to Fredericks, but he did it again. He was then pushed to the ground before about “six to seven male staff” went to him and tried to restrain him.
According to the lawsuit filed by the family, these Lakeside staffs used an “improper restraint” on Cornelius Fredericks, causing him to go into a cardiac arrest and eventually die.
Cornelius Fredericks was allegedly restrained for about 12 minutes. Consequently, a Director of Nursing came to check on him and was later released. However, it was too late – He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Furthermore, the lawsuit also states he tested positive of COVID-19 in the hospital, but the facility was unaware of it and did not make efforts to test him. Further investigations also show that several other residents and staff members were also diagnosed with COVID-19 after his death.
An investigation by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regarding the incident is currently ongoing. All the 125 Lakeside Academy residents were removed and transferred to other facilities as their license has been reversed.
FOX 17 reports that 3 staff members have been charged with; Involuntary Manslaughter, 2nd Degree Child Abuse, and Child Abuse Causing Death.
With these charges, the staff members charged could face up to 35 years in prison. What are your thoughts? Too harsh a punishment or just the right amount?