Corey Foster's mom files wrongful-death suit vs. school, 4 workers

Foster died in April after he was held down in the gym following a basketball game.

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Sheila Foster, the mother of a teenager who died at a Yonkers residential treatment center, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the facility and four employees, seeking damages in her son's death.

Corey Foster, 16, died April 18 at Leake & Watts Correctional Facility after an incident on the basketball courts in which employees used a therapeutic hold to subdue the student. Investigations by police and state agencies found no criminal actions or procedural errors by staff members Joseph Person, Andrew Duncan, Steven McSween and Clifton Caballero, who returned to work when the investigations were complete.

Still, Sheila Foster said she wants someone held responsible.

"I'm looking for some accountability. No one is being held accountable," Foster said, also noting that she is advocating for stricter state laws on the use of therapeutic restraints.

The four employees named in the suit could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in the Bronx claims that the facility knew Corey Foster had a heart condition before his death.

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The claim also alleges that staff members showed a reckless disregard to Corey Foster's physical condition and failed to obtain medical care for him in a timely manner. There is no specific award requested in the suit, which mentions only that the damages exceed the jurisdictional limits of the lower courts.

Leake & Watts spokeswoman Meredith Barber pointed to the findings of investigative agencies, saying Wednesday that the staff followed the appropriate practices.

"Corey Foster's death was a tragedy. In regard to the lawsuit, we look forward to addressing its claims in court," Barber wrote in a statement.

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