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Judge says mother's negligence lawsuit can proceed

Judge says mother's negligence lawsuit can proceed



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed against several state agencies and individuals by a Utah woman whose teen son died while in state custody.

Sixteen-year-old Dillon Whitney died in November 2007. He was in state custody after a juvenile court referral and placed with a private provider, Quest Youth Services. Quest had Whitney living in a proctor home. He died while on home visit after a night of drinking at a party.

Whitney's mother has sued the Department of Human Services, the Division of Juvenile Justice Services, Quest and several individuals, claiming negligence and civil rights violations.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled the negligence portion of the lawsuit can go forward.

State attorneys had asked for a dismissal.

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Information from: Deseret News

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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