YONKERS N.Y. - The mother of a teenager who died last April after being restrained at a non-profit treatment center in Yonkers filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the facility and four of its staff members Wednesday morning.
Sheila Foster filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Leake & Watts on behalf of her 16-year-old son Corey Foster, who died April 18. The lawsuit alleges that the four staff members, Andrew Duncan, Steve McSween, Clifton Cabellero and Joseph Person, used excessive force on Foster during a basketball court incident, which resulted in his premature death.
"We are filling a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the defendants based on the wrongful death of Corey Foster," said Foster's lawyer Jacob Oresky. "The defendants are responsible for their assault and gross negligence in causing his death. We find it very unfortunate that all these men are still under the employment of Leake & Watts and that no criminal action has been taken."
The suit was filed in state Supreme Court in the Bronx, where several defendants live, Oresky said.
The New York State Office of Children and Families conducted an investigation after the incident and determined that the actions of Leake & Watts’ staff did not violate the standards of care established by the State of New York.
Leake & Watts issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit filed today:
"The consistent findings of extensive third party independent reviews by the police, the District Attorney's office, the medical examiner and state officials support Leake & Watts' own internal review, which determined that on the night of April 18th staff followed appropriate therapeutic practices designed to support the young people in our care. Corey Foster’s death was a tragedy. In regard to the lawsuit, we look forward to addressing its claims in court. Meanwhile, we remain focused on serving children, adults and families with a wide range of needs and look towards doing all that we can in the service of others."