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Grandmother sues state for death of Maui boy, 4

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:06 a.m. HST, May 19, 2014

WAILUKU >> The grandmother and sister of a dead 4-year-old Maui boy have filed a negligence lawsuit against the state.

The Maui News reports the lawsuit filed Friday claims Department of Human Services failed to protect Zion McKeown from abuse and neglect.

Zion died in 2012 after his father and his father's girlfriend took him to the emergency room at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Autopsy results showed injuries to his abdomen consistent with someone stomping on him.

His father Kyle McKeown and his father's girlfriend, Grace Lee-Nakamoto, are awaiting trial for second-degree murder.

Department of Human Services spokeswoman Kayla Rosenfeld declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing confidentiality.

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mcc wrote:
The Grandmother should be sued for raising the people responsible for stomping the child. Sue, sue, sue, money, money, money, GREED, GREED, GREED!!!
on May 19,2014 | 10:16AM
localguy wrote:
You want justice? Put these two utterly useless, dregs of the earth, with the general prison population. Let the rumor be spread they are child m o l e s t e r s. Prisoners will do what the courts can't.
on May 19,2014 | 10:18AM
ryan02 wrote:
NOBODY should benefit financially from the death of child due to abuse. If they were close enough to the child that they are suffering from the child's death, then they were close enough to the child to share in the responsibility of keeping the child safe.
on May 19,2014 | 10:38AM
kiragirl wrote:
Yep. She should point her finger at herself.
on May 19,2014 | 10:46AM
silvangold wrote:
Totally every word from ryan02 is truth. and also, they both should get the MAXIMUM sentence possible.....no leniency!
on May 19,2014 | 10:48AM
Mahalo wrote:
I don't know these people, but some times people sue not for the financial gain but to bring awareness and to FORCE changes.
on May 19,2014 | 10:43AM
hikine wrote:
I concur. Though CPS or other agencies try their best in protecting children it's unfortunate that the courts has a skewed law that for the best interest of the child they should be returned to their parents! What ends up is that CPS goes to square one and repeats the process. Unfortunately in most cases the child is already traumatized not once but multiple times by the parents and of course as children they will always love their parents no matter what including dying for them!
on May 19,2014 | 12:28PM
saveparadise wrote:
Looks like another ambulance chaser case but hard to make an opinion without more facts. We know only what the SA prints.
on May 19,2014 | 10:54AM
kaiakea wrote:
A suit is absolutely the right thing to do. Suits are the only way that the dysfunctional human service agencies, which includes the DOE, DOH, and DHS, will make changes in the way they do things. If they don't have the staff or training, then get some. But the bureaucrats in those agencies must first listen to the line workers then pressure their bosses to get more resources. Then things will move up the chain of command until it hits the legislature and the governor, the money people. But this will not happen until lawsuits make it uncomfortable for those bureaucrats who are too comfortable or too lazy to make changes so our children are protected and educated.
on May 19,2014 | 10:57AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Whether the state wins the case or not, they lose. It is very expensive to defend a suit. Hence the settlement in most cases. If you're going to sue a gov't agency, sue for changes, not money. Otherwise the agency will close and the service will not be there. Then what?
on May 19,2014 | 11:33AM
kaiakea wrote:
The agency is not going to fold up and go away if they are slapped with a lawsuit. But what may happen is that systemic changes are implemented which will benefit all the people in the state in the long run. What is wrong with that?
on May 19,2014 | 01:48PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
No matter what systemic changes you make, it will not and cannot satisfy everyone. All It takes is a small percentage of to sue, to cost the state millions. Just look at the school system. Because it tries to be everything to everyone, it cannot possibly succeed.
on May 19,2014 | 05:28PM
lee1957 wrote:
So the State is culpable but the family is not? If we are going to hold the State accountable then the State should have some recourse in preventing the same behaviour in the future, like sterilization. Where is mom in all of this?
on May 19,2014 | 11:36AM
kaiakea wrote:
The family is culpable. There are laws against abusing children. These two people, and I use the term loosely, are charged with murder. But the state is also culpable because there are state agencies who use many tax dollars to prevent this kind of thing. As far as sterilization, this was debated in the United States back in the 1920s, 30s and even earlier, and the government decided against it. One place where the government decided to go ahead with sterilization, then with euthanasia of the socially and mentally incompetent was Nazi Germany. Are you advocating that?
on May 19,2014 | 01:46PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
I don't agree - everyone has good comments. As a grandmother I would have taken my grandbaby away. As was mentioned - where is the mom of this child? The State is so stupid they try to reunite the children with their so called parents even if they were child beaters. They do need prison or I believe in the death sentence. Do un to others as you want them to do un to you. Those are God's words. How that child life was taken so be the father and GF. Why make our prisons more crowded with losers.
on May 19,2014 | 11:37AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Tahiti, sorry to inform you that grandparents do not have legal rights. However, my friend's mom did forcibly hanai her first child and raised her til she was 16. Friend was 16 yo mother. Her mom took the kid to collect welfare, also threatened bodily harm to child if my friend refused. Kid went back to my friend when the grandma started collecting SS. DHS was not involved. I'm amazed the child grew up well adjusted. She broke the chain of early childhood pregnancy/abuse and has one child. The entire clan is extremely disfunctional. Sad.
on May 19,2014 | 04:10PM
lowtone123 wrote:
The hair color does nothing to help your cause, just saying.
on May 19,2014 | 11:01AM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
Where is the mother of that child, as in the plaintiff's daughter? Why isn't she in the lawsuit? Incarcerated perhaps or in rehab? Great job grandma raising you own children.
on May 19,2014 | 11:04AM
Workingrl wrote:
The plaintiff is mother of the deadbeat father and not the mother. Grandma raised a child abuser.
on May 19,2014 | 01:03PM
hikine wrote:
Grandma should focus her anger at the kid's dad! He's the one that beat him up, stomped on him and treated him like trash. The dad had no regards and no love for his own child. Too bad Hawaii doesn't have the death penalty, these peeps should be hanged!
on May 19,2014 | 12:23PM
konag43 wrote:
here we go again somebody trying to get rich off of somebodys death does the public know that the money to pay these claims comes out of our pockets. our taxes pays for these claims. what good does it do to sue the state will it bring back the child no you just get rich off of somebody elses back why don't you sue that father and his girlfriend don't use my hard earned dollars so you can go have a good time..
on May 19,2014 | 01:26PM
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