Fitness

Hennepin Social Employee, Allina Well being Employee Ignored Crimson Flags Earlier than Foster Baby Loss of life, Says Lawsuit – Minneapolis Star Tribune

The family of a two-year-old girl who died in 2017 of neglect and injuries sustained in foster care filed a federal lawsuit on Monday alleging that the conditions leading to the girl's death were obvious and had must lead to an intervention you died.

The suit, which was brought by Thomas Hunziker, Arianna Hunziker's grandfather, names a social worker from the Hennepin district and a doctor and nurse from Allina Health and Allina Health Systems as the defendants. The lawsuit also cites Brooklyn Park foster parents Sherrie Dirk, who was sentenced to 32 years in prison last year, and her husband Bryce Dirk, who was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison for second degree murder. She is detained in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee and he is in the state correctional facility in Moose Lake.

Arianna Hunziker "was starved, dehydrated, handcuffed, immobilized and abandoned in a house that is littered with garbage and smells of urine," the lawsuit said. Her weight and size decreased, and she ate rocks, pea gravel, dirt, paper, crayons and trash and became socially withdrawn, along with "myriad other signs and symptoms of neglect and abuse".

The suit claims she was sedated with misprescribed drugs and wrapped in sheets that left her alone and immobilized her in her room. Arianna died on vember 6, 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that her county social worker, Patricia Doherty, Dr. Robert Marshall and Kristen Medhanie, a nurse, both with Alliana Health, saw "red flags" but did nothing to help the child.

Instead, according to the lawsuit, the child's suffering continued unchecked and undiminished.

Hennepin County made a brief statement on Monday: "It's a tragedy when a child dies. Our hearts go out to Arianna's family. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to comment on any pending litigation."

Speaking for the doctor, nurse and health system, Allina made a statement in which she said, "The death of Arianna Hunziker is a tragedy and our hearts go out to everyone who loved her. Allina Health providers are trained to Identify and report suspected sexual or physical abuse. As this case is pending, we will not comment further at this time. "

Arianna was first taken out of her mother's care and temporarily placed with her grandparents, Thomas Hunziker and his wife Egan, in April 2015. "Because of their advanced age, they believed it was in the children's best interests to be raised by younger parents," the suit says. In September 2016, Arianna and her brother were fostered with the Dirks in Brooklyn Park, and shortly afterwards the Dirks applied for the adoption of the two children.

The lawsuit alleges that "Egan has informed Hennepin County that there are concerns that Sherrie (Dirk) is not a fit parent from Sherrie's own family members," but alleges that Hennepin County is ignoring the warning and is not investigating Has.

The lawsuit alleges that the Dirks "swaddled" the child for days and nights and that the county social worker, doctor, and nurse knew about it, but did not investigate, according to county records. The suit said diapering a child of her age was "inconsistent with pediatric medical care standards" in any way. The child allegedly pulled out tufts of hair, slept unusually, wetted her bed, often cried, scratched and left wounds on her body, ate trash, and her weight dropped a large amount for her age group.

The suit said that Doherty was making a house call to the Dirks' residence and a note that said, “The house smelled very dirty of dogs, cats and urine. Also, clothes and shoes made it difficult to go in the door in any location, especially because of the smell. "

Despite her falling size and weight and other warning signs, the suit claims, her nurse and other Allina staff "have not investigated or reported any alleged abuse by the Dirks or taken any action to prevent it."

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