My son was on probation for DWI in Texas. He did not have insurance. We tried to get him into free or low cost rehab facilities but were not able to find one that would take him due to his medical condition (scleroderma). He was still functioning very well but they would not take him. We repeatedly asked his probation officer to help find a facility and he said he would but he did not get back with us and when we were finally able to get him, he seemed to want to waffle on the subject. Son was found dead in his truck at the lake a month ago with an almost empty bottle of whiskey. He was ready and willing to go to rehab. He left behind a daughter who is almost 4. I thought probation dept responsibility was rehabilitation. Son was sent for autopsy and it will be at least another 2 months before we have a cause of death. I feel if his death was due to alcohol, we might not be here if probation officer had helped. If this is the case, do we have any recourse?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I am so sorry for your loss. The problem confronting you is the doctrine of sovereign immunity - the state is immune from suit. You need to consult a civil rights attorney to help you find a way around this doctrine.
However even if the state is not immune, ;you must prove that it is responsible for your son's death. They would likely argue that even if your son went into rehab, there is no guarantee that the rehab would have worked to have prevented your son's death.
You should consult a personal injury attorney experienced in suing police departments.