Lawyers plan to file lawsuit after toddler’s deadly overdose; will focus on DCFS

A group of lawyers says they plan to file a lawsuit focused on the Department of Children and Family Services after a toddler died from a drug overdose.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 11:38 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A group of lawyers said plans are being made to file a lawsuit with a focus on the Department of Children and Family Services following a 2-year-old’s deadly overdose.

The lawyers said DCFS failed 2-year-old Mitchell Robinson and his mother Whitney Ard. They point at the agency being underfunded, staff being underpaid and staff working a case load that is above the national average.

Mitchell Robinson (left) and Whitney Ard (right).
Mitchell Robinson (left) and Whitney Ard (right).(WAFB)

The lawyers said they have yet to actually file the suit. They are still trying to figure out which court would be best to help make the most change.

“They want to make sure that Mitchell’s memory is not just a 2-year-old who died from a Fentanyl overdose, but his death will be a watershed moment that the state of Louisiana steps up, DCFS steps up and makes substantive changes to close in those loopholes to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said attorney Ronald Haley.

Meanwhile, DCFS has said it launched an internal investigation to understand how the 2-year-old’s past suspected overdoses did not raise red flags, and whether that oversight led to his death.

Investigators said the child was treated in April and June after arriving at a hospital showing signs of exposure to drugs and had only been revived when given Narcan. That drug is commonly used as a treatment for patients suffering opioid overdoses.

On Tuesday, August 9, a judge revoked the bond for the child’s mother Whitney Ard, 28. She also pleaded not guilty to drug and gun charges.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.