The parents of one-year-old Juan Cardenas have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Indiana’s Marion County Superior Court. This February, day care workers found Juan lying face-down in the baptismal of the local Praise Fellowship Assembly of God church, drowned. He was found in 2 feet of water. Juan’s parents, Juan Gabriel Cardenas and Maricela Serna, are filing the lawsuit in the pursuit of justice – they know that the lawsuit will not bring them any peace with their son’s death, but they want the responsible parties held accountable. No criminal charges were brought against the church or any church workers in Juan’s death.
The Cardenas’ attorney told reporters that the family, “wants to find out what happened. They want whoever was responsible held accountable. They want changes made, so no other families are put in this horrible position.”
The superintendent of Praise Fellowship Assembly of God Church, Inc., said that the death of Juan was a terrible and tragic accident, and that he grieves with the family, but maintains that the church is not responsible for what happened.
“We have met all our requirements for voluntary cooperative fellowship and supervision of these churches. We do not believe the Indiana District Assemblies of God is liable for this accident. That would have to be settled by the court.”
The Deputy Prosecutor said regarding the case, that while the incident may demonstrate negligence or recklessness, it does not meet the criteria for a criminal matter, and that the family will have to seek their remedy in the civil court system.
The lawsuit has named the Praise Fellowship Assembly of God organization itself as the defendant in the case. PFAG Inc. represents some 240 Assembly of God churches in the state of Indiana alone.
There has been no court date set as of the time of this writing, nor has a judge been named for the case.