The story of Azriel Estabrooks is a heartbreaking one.
As reported by the Inquisitr, when the tragedy initially occurred, 11-year old Azriel, a healthy, normal, happy girl, went to her friend’s birthday party, but never got to come home.
Instead, her parents received a frantic phone call from the host of the birthday party, saying that Azriel had passed out for “unknown reasons.” Her mom, Iris Estabrooks, told NBC10 that she arrived before the paramedics did, and no one at the party could tell her what had happened. It wasn’t until the paramedics arrived that anyone realized that Azriel was actually choking on a marshmallow.
When the mother of the child who was having the birthday party called Iris, Iris stated that she didn’t know what was going on.
“(She said) that I need to hurry up because something happened to my daughter,” Iris said. “She doesn’t know what happened.”
The child was taken to a local children’s hospital, but she died five days later. It was believed that Azriel had been choking on the marshmallow for quite some time before anyone noticed, and that her brain was deprived of oxygen for too long. Her family had to make the heartbreaking decision to remove Azriel from life support on April 21, 2016.
“The doctors said that: ‘Essentially, your daughter is dead. There’s nothing we can do. We’ve tried literally everything,'” Iris Estabrooks recounted.
Now, three months after the death of their daughter, the Estabrookses are placing the blame for the tragic loss of Azriel on the hosts of the birthday party where their child choked to death on a marshmallow.
On Monday, the Estrabooks family filed a wrongful death suit, seeking unspecified damages from the hosts of the birthday party, citing their daughter’s suffering, as well as their own suffering, for reasons behind the unspecified damages.
At the time of her daughter’s tragic death, Iris Estabrooks was grieving and confused as to how this could have happened to her child. What was most upsetting, Estabrooks said, is that none of the adults at the party knew what had occurred.
“Because someone didn’t find her in time,” Iris said. “Someone didn’t realize she was choking on a damn marshmallow.”
Now, it seems, Iris wants someone to pay for her daughter’s death — literally.
— Malini Basu (@WFXTMalini) April 22, 2016
WPRI reports that the lawsuit the Estabrooks family has filed alleges that the hosts of the birthday party “failed to…carefully review food choices to assure that nothing dangerous would be available to the young children, specifically, but not limited to, marshmallows.” The lawsuit also accuses the hosts of the birthday party of failing to “have an adult present who was trained or skilled in clearing the airway of a choking child,” as well as failing to “specifically plan and carry out a protocol that would assure that no young child could wander off without being noticed.”
Azriel was allegedly unsupervised when she ate the marshmallow that she choked on.
For Azriel’s parents, there are simply “too many unanswered questions,” the Kansas City Star reports, and it’s those unanswered questions that have led them to file a wrongful death suit.
The lawsuit describes the phone call to Azriel’s mother as “frantic” and the scene at the defendants’ home when Azriel’s mother arrived as “general chaos.” The parents are asking for all the reports and investigation summaries related to the case, Steven P. Sabra, the attorney representing Azriel’s parents, told WCVB in Boston.
“When a healthy, normal child goes to a birthday party and ends up choking to death, questions of supervision and response to the emergency naturally arise,” Sabra said.
“I am sure that this tragedy has had a profound effect not only on Azriel’s parents, but on the host family and the children that were present.”
What do you think? Although the death of any child is tragic, should the hosts of the birthday party be held liable for Azriel’s death? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Image via GoFundMe]