Family sues Alabama over toddler’s death after state gave child to parents after domestic incident

Published 3:12 pm Saturday, May 1, 2021

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Alabama Department of Human Resources after a toddler died in Jefferson County in 2020.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by Birmingham attorney Tommy James who represents the family of 2-year-old Demetric Hampton Jr.

DHR returned the child to his father and stepmother shortly after they had been arrested in April 2020 on child endangerment and other charges after a domestic incident where children were present, WBRC-TV reported.

About a month later, deputies were called to a home in Center Point for a 2-year-old who wasn’t breathing. Investigators say his dad and stepmother claimed the toddler choked while eating, but deputies later found the child had multiple injuries. The baby later died at UAB. His father, Demetric Hampton Sr., is now facing murder charges.

James contends DHR should have never returned the little boy to his father’s care.

“Instead of protecting Demetric they were on notice that his parents had been charged with endangering a life of a child, they violated their own policy by giving these children back to them. It was inevitable that something like this was going to happen,” James said.

DHR refused comment, citing pending litigation. Also named in the lawsuit are the director of Jefferson County’s DHR, the child’s father and an unnamed case worker.