Man Sues Lincoln County, CSD, State Over Son’s Gunshot Death — (The Oregonian)

SSRI Ed note: Woman on antidepressant shoots and kills her toddler and herself. Estranged father blames mental illness, sues state for failing to protect child.

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The Oregonian,  (Portland, OR)

Saturday, March 23, 1991

Author: JOHN PAINTER JR., The Oregonian Staff

A California man whose infant son was killed last summer by the child’s mother has filed a wrongful-death suit against the state of Oregon, the Children’s Services Division and Lincoln County agencies.

The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on March 1 by Anthony Lutz of San Jose, Calif., asks a jury to determine unspecified economic, non-economic and punitive damages and to award lawyer’s fees and costs.

The state declined to comment on the litigation because it had not yet been served with the suit, Phil Lemman, a state Department of Justice spokesman, said Friday.

Dalton Dean Lutz, 21 months, was shot and killed by his mother, Bonnie Lutz, 27, in a Toledo apartment on June 24. She then killed herself.

At the time, the Lincoln County district attorney’s office said Bonnie Lutz “had been emotionally distraught, under a doctor’s care and on medication due to depression.”

Almost five months before, the Children’s Service Division had removed Dalton from the home after he was taken to a hospital emergency room Feb. 7 because he had swallowed some adult medicine.

On Feb. 8, the CSD filed a dependency petition; the baby was made a ward of the Lincoln County Circuit Court on March 9. A CSD caseworker started regular contact with the mother, and Dalton was returned home March 15. This was after a review in which Bonnie Lutz was praised for her progress and cooperation with the court.

Anthony Lutz’s lawsuit contends that the CSD had been told that Bonnie Lutz “suffered from a chronic and long-term mental illness.”

It alleges that she was unfit to provide for Dalton’s basic physical and psychological needs and that the CSD knew or should have known that the mother was a “direct, immediate and continuous threat to the health, welfare and safety of the deceased.”

The CSD, the lawsuit claims, did not take adequate steps to protect the child.

Record Number: 9103230433
Copyright (c) 1991 Oregonian Publishing Co.