Visitor Question

Broken Ankle Playing Basketball at Detention Center…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Poughkeepsie, NY)

My 14 year old daughter broke her ankle playing basketball.

She was at a non-secure detention center for juveniles in New York state when the injury occurred.

She was playing in front of the building where a hoop was set up in the driveway.

There was a staff member outside with them.

The staff member is not a physical education teacher or coach.

My daughter and another boy jumped up for the ball and when she landed her ankle twisted and broke.

It took them an hour to get her to the hospital.

She had ORIF surgery (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) a week and a half later.

She came home for 3 days post-op and then returned to the facility.

She’s on pain meds and there were incidents where the staff wouldn’t call the nurse to dispense her meds.

She has to take baths instead of showers due to the wound dressings and some staff refuse to assist her.

This occurred in the last month.

She will have a cast for another 2 months followed by physical therapy. The doctor says she can expect a close to normal ankle.

Is the facility legally responsible for her injuries? Are they legally obligated to assist her with her baths and provide her meds as prescribed?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Legal responsibility is a relative term. The juvenile detention facility has a duty to take all appropriate and reasonable measures to protect their detainees.

If you are concerned they aren’t administering her medications timely and won’t let her bathe instead of shower, speak to the administrator of the detention facility. She has the power to make any changes she believes are in the best interest of her detainees.

If all else fails contact the attorney who represented your daughter at her detention hearings. She can petition the court for an order commanding the facility to administer your daughter’s pain medications as prescribed by her doctor, and to have her bathe instead of shower.

You can also ask the attorney to petition the court for her early release. If that wont work, ask the court to allow her to recover at home with you. In addition, if you have other concerns about the manner in which the facility is treating your daughter, the attorney can add that to her petition.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 9, 2012

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