Mother Seeks Justice Lawsuit: In a tragic incident, a grieving mother, Vanessa Johnson, has filed a lawsuit against Southeast Alabama Youth Services (SAYS), a Dothan facility contracted by the Alabama Department of Youth Services. Vanessa alleges that the negligence of the staff at the Wiregrass diversion center led to the untimely death of her teenage daughter, Madison Johnson.
Madison, a 15-year-old with a history of mental health disorders, had been placed in the custody of the diversion center in September. The intention was to await space availability at a specialized residential behavioral health treatment facility. Disturbingly, despite her known mental health challenges and a recent suicide attempt in August 2023, the staff at SAYS allegedly failed to adhere to the required fifteen-minute checks for individuals on suicide watch. Shockingly, Madison was left unattended for over an hour.
Tragically, on Saturday, September 30, Madison Johnson was discovered deceased by suicide at the facility. Vanessa Johnson places the blame squarely on the negligence of the staff at the youth services facility. She also holds the facility’s supervisors accountable, asserting that they failed to provide adequate training to handle such critical situations.
Vanessa Johnson has sought justice through a jury trial, requesting unspecified damages for the heartbreaking loss of her daughter. This lawsuit brings attention to the crucial need for proper care and attention in youth services facilities, especially for individuals dealing with mental health challenges.