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Darelle Red Bear had the perfect teen life. He was an active teen, playing sport, riding horses, and spending as much time outside soaking up life as he possibly could. Everything took a dark turn on the night of his junior prom. The gregarious teem left home to attend to the prom only to disappear with four classmates. They were missing for four days. When Darelle returned, he was disabled.
It didn’t take long for his parents to realize they could no longer care for their son. In the papers they filed that led to Darelle’s involuntary admission to the Yankton State Hospital they cited instances of him talking to people who weren’t there while also inhaling the fumes of gasoline, paint, and other substances. Most alarming were the periods of violent outbursts he’d unexpectedly have.
For several decades, Darelle lived in a group home before he died suddenly after choking on vomit. It didn’t take long for Darelle’s siblings, who still loved their brother very much, to suspect that neglect was to blame for his unexpected death and they filed a lawsuit against the Southeast South Dakota Activity Center in which they demanded $2.27 million dollars for alleged negligence.
During the trial it was revealed that Darelle had been ill for several days before he died and in the lawsuit, the family stated that they felt the SESDAC should have taken steps to see that their brother got medical treatment instead of simply ignoring the situation.
The defense the SESDAC launched was that although they knew Darelle was ill, they never felt that the symptoms became bad enough to warrant further medical treatment. They were sure he would recover on his own. They also questioned the family’s motivations behind the lawsuit, stating that the family never seemed very concerned about Darelle while he was alive. They claim that not only did the family never come to see their brother, but they also failed to send him any letters or presents. It took the siblings four months to even learn that Darelle had passed away.
The family sites financial hardship and emotional pain as the reason they never visited, and point out that their attendance shouldn’t matter. The SESDAC was entrusted with the care of Darelle Red Bear and in the end, they failed him.
Any wrongful death attorney in Tampa will tell you that the strict definition of a wrongful death is a death that occurs as the result of someone failing to care for the situation properly, either through a mistake or neglect. In a perfect world, this type of death would rarely happen, but every wrongful death attorney Tampa knows the world is far from perfect which is why each year there are more than 90,000 deaths in the United States connected to medical malpractice, and that’s not including situations like Darelle were caretakers failed to recognize just how ill a patient was.
If someone you loved has fallen victim to a wrongful death, the best way you can honor them is contacting a wrongful death attorney in Tampa and taking legal steps to make sure such a tragedy never happens again.