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Court Appoints Legal Guardian for Institutionalized Child

The issue presented is whether the trial court properly relieved the complainant’s natural guardian and replaced her with an attorney.

A New York Family Lawyer said a two weeks-years-old infant was diagnosed with infantile impetigo. His pediatrician prescribed an antibacterial skin cleanser, to be rubbed into the blisters on the skin with each diaper change and then rinsed off. The infant’s mother claims that within 48 hours after she started applying the antibacterial skin cleanser, the baby became very irritable, with greenish stools and flaking skin. The mother used the entire 16-ounce bottle within nine days and thereafter renewed her prescription.

Subsequently, the infant’s pediatrician diagnosed the infant’s condition with diaper rash, but the mother claims that the pediatrician urged her to continue the use of the antibacterial skin cleanser. The infant allegedly continued to be irritable and have loose, foul-smelling, green-colored stool. Further, unusual body movements, such as twitching, stiffening, and staring were observed, and the baby was diagnosed with seizures.

A New York Custody Lawyer said at the age of one year, mental retardation was diagnosed, and institutionalization was recommended for the infant. The mother then decided to care the infant at home, attending to his needs and administering oxygen when necessary. Later, the mother was unable to provide the infant with the care he required, and he was placed in the hospital. Subsequently, the infant was transferred to another institution.

An action to recover damages for the infant’s personal injuries, and asserting a derivative claim on behalf of his mother was initiated.

At the time of trial, the complainant was 17 years old, but functioned at the mental age of a three-and-one-half year old child. He required nursing care around the clock, as well as assistance in eating, dressing, and toileting, and will require such assistance for the remainder of his life. Although he is unable to speak, he has learned to communicate simple words with sign language, and has also learned to distinguish colors.

The trial court then informed the complainant’s attorney that the pharmaceutical company was offering $500,000 in settlement of all claims, which amount could be increased to $550,000. The complainant’s attorney advised the mother to accept the settlement. The mother initially offered to accept $575,000 conditioned upon the waiver by the county of its medical bills, and the establishment of a special needs trust. The complainant’s attorney calculated that the proposed settlement would net the complainant about $300,000, which would be placed into a special needs trust.

A Bronx Family Lawyer said the mother was ill in the hospital the following day and was unable to appear in court. The court directed the complainant’s attorney to inform the mother that if she could not appear, the court would consider appointing a new guardian for the child. That afternoon, the mother informed her attorney that she no longer wished to accept the settlement.

When the mother appeared in court the following day, the court informed her that he was about to replace her with a guardian because there was some question with regard to a possible conflict of interest or that the child’s interests are not being properly regarded, because the mother had no legal training and could not make a proper decision where litigation is involved.

A Bronx Child Custody Lawyer said that based on records, unless the court appoints a guardian, an infant shall appear by the guardian of his property or, if there is no such guardian, by a parent having legal custody.

Consequently, the order relieving the mother as guardian for the infant and the order approving the settlement are reversed by the court and the motion for approval of the settlement is denied. Further, the mother is reinstated as guardian for her son.

Whenever you are in need of a legal representative in seeking your right as a parent, you can ask for a Suffolk County Family Lawyer. If you need an expert with regards to your children’s child support, you can have the representation of the Suffolk County Child Support Attorney or the Suffolk County Child Custody Lawyer. Simply visit or call Stephen Bilkis and Associates office for more details.

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