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A Guatemalan Toddler Dies Due to ICE Medical Negligence, Suit Alleges

While in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, a Guatemalan toddler died of severe respiratory infection, alleges a lawsuit made by her mother. She “went woefully under-treated for nearly a month,” alleges the claims.

Details of the Toddler’s Death

According to the Week, Yazmin Juarez, 20, sought asylum in the United States with her 18 year-old daughter Mariee, and was taken into ICE custody. They were held in the South Texas Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, for about three weeks. Mariee began to suffer respiratory issues, in addition to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. Juarez attempted for weeks to obtain medical help for her daughter. However, the prescriptions were ineffective and did not cure Mariee of her illness.

Juarez and her daughter were released and flew to New Jersey to stay with Juarez’s mother. They took Mariee to the hospital the next day where she was hospitalized for respiratory failure for six weeks. Despite seeking treatment, Mariee succumbed to her illness and died on May 10.

“A mother lost her little girl because ICE and those running the Dilley immigration prison failed them inexcusably,” said a statement from the Juarez family’s attorneys.

There is a case being investigated by child welfare officials in Texas, which may in fact involve Mariee. However, details of the child involved in that case have not been released.

ICE told CNN it is “committed to ensuring the welfare of all those in the agency’s custody, including providing access to necessary and appropriate medical care.”

Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when an individual suffers injury or death due to negligence or incompetence on the part of a medical professional. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical errors cause approximately 250,000 deaths each year in the United States — only heart disease and cancer claim more lives each year than medical errors. In addition, medical malpractice often leads to significant injuries which can leave survivors with life-altering disabilities and disfigurements.

Among the most common forms of malpractice observed in the medical community are:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis — When a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, misses a diagnosis, or makes a delayed diagnosis, the recommended treatment may no longer be an effective option for the patient.
  • Childbirth injuries — Negligence from a physician or nurse can occur before, during, or after childbirth that causes injury to the infant or mother.
  • Medication errors — An incorrect dosage or method of administration are just two kinds of negligent medication mistakes that can cause serious harm.
  • Anesthesia errors — Errors by an anesthesiologist, such as failing to monitor vital signs or administering too much medication, oftentimes lead to fatal consequences.
  • Surgery errors — Negligence can occur before, during, or after surgery and leave patients with infections and other complications.


At Thomas J. Henry, our team of experienced malpractice attorneys are available 24/7 to take your call and hear your malpractice claim. We have lawyers who have handled a multitude of medical, pharmaceutical, and legal malpractice lawsuits. What sets Thomas J. Henry apart is our history of achieving multi-million dollar verdicts for our injured clients and our proven track record of helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Let us help you with your medical malpractice, pharmacy malpractice, or legal malpractice claim. Contact us today for a free legal consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

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