Autistic Teen Dead, Mother Seeks Compensation for Negligence

Vanessa Fontaine, mother of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, is pressing charges against several groups in New York City, according to recent reports. Those being accused of negligence by the teen’s mother include the City of New York, the Department of Education, the New York Police Department, and Oquendo’s school. The lawsuit was filed in the Queens Supreme Court and claimed that negligence on behalf of these agencies and entities was the cause of death for Oquendo, who was autistic.

Fontaine maintains the culpability of the aforementioned parties in permitting her son to depart the Long Island City school where he attended. It is not clear why staff allowed Oquendo to leave the school on his own or what happened to him after he left the campus. He disappeared and was not found despite an area-wide search.

Oquendo’s decayed body was discovered on a beach in Queens three months after his departure and disappearance from his school. The cause of death could not be established and has not since been reported.

The amount requested in the lawsuit has not been reported. Fontaine’s lawyer states that his client is seeking $25 million in compensation for her son’s untimely death due to the city’s negligence. A city representative acknowledged that this event was catastrophic, and that the claim will be appropriately assessed.

Duty of Care

Negligence is often established in personal injury cases by showing that a defendant had a duty of care to another individual that he or she failed to meet. For example, schools have a duty of care to keep children safe and to ensure that their basic needs are met. A school could be liable for damages if the employees did not meet this duty of care.

If a loved one has suffered death due to another’s negligence, The Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York City can help. The Fitzgerald Law Firm has helped individuals fight for their rights in many types of personal injury cases and will work hard to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve for yourself or your loved one.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm also represents individuals with disabilities, particularly those with autism. They work hard to protect the rights of patients with disabilities by ensuring that they are fairly represented in court. The Fitzgerald Firm represents individuals in all New York areas including Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Long Island.