Eleven-year-old Azriel Estabrooks begged her parents for weeks leading up to her best friend’s birthday party in April.
“Come on, mom. Please can I go,” she pleaded, according to CBS Boston.
So Iris Estabrooks drove her daughter to the party on April 16 in their hometown of Somerset, Mass.
Five days later, Azriel was dead.
At some point during the party, she choked on a large marshmallow and lost consciousness. She lay on the floor for an unknown amount of time before anyone called 911.
Her parents filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on Monday against the family that hosted the party, seeking unspecified monetary damages for pain and suffering, according to the Associated Press.
The complaint alleges that the parents who threw the party failed to provide adequate supervision for the children who attended it. It also faults the parents for providing food, such as marshmallows, that could be choking hazards for children.
There are “so many unanswered questions” that her parents felt they needed to sue, said Steven P. Sabra, the attorney representing Azriel’s parents.
They want all the reports and investigation summaries related to the case, Sabra told WCVB in Boston.
“When a healthy, normal child goes to a birthday party and ends up choking to death, questions of supervision and response to the emergency naturally arise,” Sabra said.
“I am sure that this tragedy has had a profound effect not only on Azriel’s parents, but on the host family and the children that were present.”
Somerset police and ambulance units responded to the home where the party was being held after receiving a 911 call reporting a person choking. Responders removed the marshmallow from the throat of Azriel, who was unconscious and unresponsive.
Iris Estabrooks said she got a call from the mom hosting the party about an hour after she dropped her daughter off at their house. They told her that Azriel had passed out.
“(She said) that I need to hurry up because something happened to my daughter. She doesn’t know what happened,” Estabrooks told NBC 10 News in Providence, R.I.
The lawsuit describes the phone call as “frantic” and the scene at the defendants’ home when Azriel’s mother arrived as “general chaos.”
She told NBC 10 that she got there before the ambulance and saw her daughter passed out on the floor. None of the adults at the party could tell her what had happened, she said.
“Because someone didn’t find her in time, someone didn’t realize she was choking on a damn marshmallow,” she said.
The lawsuit claims Azriel was deprived of oxygen for “an extended period of time.”
It also accuses the parents who hosted the party of letting Azriel wander off during the birthday party without adult supervision, and of waiting too long to call 911.
Azriel was taken off life support on April 21 at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
“The doctors said that: ‘Essentially, your daughter is dead. There’s nothing we can do. We’ve tried literally everything,’” Estabrooks told CBS Boston.