Parents of girl who died in foster care sue Idaho officials

The parents of a young girl who died while in foster care are suing the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the foster family and several state and private employees that the parents say failed to adequately care for the child, causing her death. (MGN)
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The parents of a child who died while in foster care have filed a lawsuit claiming officials with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the foster family and others failed to adequately care for the 6-year-old girl who had a serious medical condition.

Danielle Greenup and Andrew Bishop, along with the child's grandmother Darce Bishop, filed the lawsuit in federal court last week, alleging deliberate indifference, recklessness and gross negligence in the care of Justice Bishop.

The child died two years ago from complications arising from the medical condition, according to the lawsuit.

The family is asking a judge to order the state to create and implement specific and adequate procedures on how children with serious medical conditions should be cared for while in the custody of the state.

Her parents say Justice had a potentially life-threatening condition called short bowel syndrome, where portions of a person's small intestine are missing. They say it's one of the primary reasons the state moved Justice into foster care at the end of 2016.

Her first foster parent was a nurse who understood "the demands and needs of Justice's condition," her parents wrote in the lawsuit.

When the nurse was no longer able to act as a foster parent, Darce Bishop tried to take on that role but Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials kept delaying and obstructing her application, the lawsuit states.

Instead, Justice was moved to new foster parents — McKenzie and Corey Morris of Blackfoot, Idaho, according to the lawsuit. A phone number for the Morrises could not be located, and they have not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

Officials with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Attorneys for the agency have not yet filed a response to the lawsuit in court.

Justice's biological family said in the lawsuit that neither of the Morrises had medical training, and they weren't given any proper instruction by the state on Justice's extensive medical needs.

The child had been living with the foster family for several weeks when she was taken to a hospital in 2017, according to the lawsuit.

Danielle Greenup said in the legal action that she had told the foster mother in repeated conversations how important it was for Justice's intravenous line to be kept clean, and that the child would need immediate medical care if she ever developed a fever.

When the child's medical condition deteriorated, she was taken by air ambulance to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where she died from complications related to her medical condition.

Justice's biological family contends the foster parents failed to seek medical attention for the girl until it was too late. The family also claims a home health nurse and Department of Health and Welfare officials failed to properly care for the girl.



 
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