$50 million lawsuit filed in death of Detroit teen who was restrained at youth home

Posted at 12:41 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 12:41:30-04

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced he has filed a $50 million lawsuit in the death of a teen who was restrained at a youth home.

Related: Police: Teen dies after being restrained at youth home

Cornelius Frederick, 16, who is from Detroit, died on April 29, 2020 at the Sequel Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo.

Police said the teen was restrained after throwing a sandwich. During the incident, authorities say he lost consciousness and died.

According to the lawsuit, Cornelius was restrained and suffocated and reportedly screamed "I can't breathe and urinated himself" when it happened.

Surveillance video released by Fieger appears to show several people on top of Cornelius during the incident.

Three people were also charged with involuntary manslaughter and child in the case.

“The lawsuit states in graphic detail how a New York hedge fund moved into the orphanage and juvenile home business in various states and put profits ahead of children and their safety. Torture was the method by which the children were supervised. This was not an isolated occurrence," Fieger said in a release.

The lawsuit was filed against the Sequel Corporation, its subsidiaries and several employees.

Lakeside Academy released the following statement to 7 Action News last year when we first covered the story.

"We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of a student at Lakeside Academy after being restrained by staff during an incident on campus. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this young man and are focused on supporting them and our school community. While we are not providing additional details at this time out of respect for the privacy of the family and the ongoing law enforcement investigation, we are cooperating fully with the Kalamazoo Police Department and will use every tool at our disposal to investigate this incident, support those affected, and take appropriate disciplinary action. The health and well-being of our students is our top priority and all personnel at our facilities are trained to provide the highest quality of care. This incident does not reflect our mission to serve and care for our clients with excellence and we are committed to making the necessary changes to ensure something like this does not happen again."

An attorney for Heather McLogan, one of the defendants, released the following statement: "Heather McLogan did not cause the death of Cornelius Fredericks. His death was caused by asphyxiation resulting from the restraint. Ms. McLogan took no part in the restraint. Nothing Ms. McLogan could have done would have changed the tragic outcome. She fully expects that the civil case will be eventually be dismissed against her." -Attorney Anastase Markou