The parents of a young boy killed on I-380 in Iowa have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the state’s Department of Human Services and the social workers transporting the boy at the time. The lawsuit alleges that the social workers in question were ignoring the department’s policy in transporting youth who are considered to be a danger to themselves.
Angela Barton and David Parvin, the parents of Denver Parvin, and are asking for a jury trial in order to receive compensation for Denver’s death. The suit has specifically named social worker Steve Henderson and the Iowa Department of Human Services as defendants in the case.
Earlier in the day, Henderson picked up Denver from Barton’s home in order to transport him to a shelter called Four Oaks, as part of a court-ordered move. Barton warned Henderson when he picked Denver up that he would have to transport Denver in a police vehicle for safety’s sake, because previously Denver had made attempts to escape and threatened to jump out of moving vehicles. Further, Denver made overt claims that he intended to kill himself, and even attempted to grab a knife. Henderson acknowledged this and said he would take Denver in a law enforcement vehicle.
This apparently did not happen, and during the trip Denver began making threats to jump into northbound traffic. Henderson pulled over to try to avoid this, at which point Denver got out of the car and walked into the southbound lanes, where he was hit and killed by a vehicle.
What makes the case all the more baffling is that Henderson called for police backup to help him pick Denver up, but did not abide by his promise to transport Denver in a secured vehicle.
The lawsuit is claiming that the DHS were in essence derelict in their responsibilities, and demands recompense for the costs of funeral expenses, as well as losses to his estate due to a premature death. DHS itself has made no official comment on the case.