Little Girl Chokes to Death at a Birthday Party & Now Her Parents Are Suing the Hosts

birthday party

It's hard to ever imagine how a parent handles the loss of a child, or how one tries to pick up the pieces. Sadly, Iris and Jason Estabrooks are dealing with just that unthinkable loss. Their daughter, Azriel, was found unconscious at her friend's birthday party after reportedly choking on a marshmallow. Now, after taking their daughter off life support three months ago, the Estabrooks are suing the parents who hosted the party.


WJHL 11 News reports that the Estabrooks' lawsuit seeks financial damages for their daughter's death and suffering. According to court documents, the grieving parents allege the hosting parents "failed to, in advance of the party, carefully review food choices to assure that nothing dangerous would be available to the young children, specifically, but not limited to, marshmallows."

The Estabrooks say that someone at the party should've noticed that Azriel wandered off (they allege that their daughter was without oxygen for "an extended period of time" before she was found on the floor) -- and that there should have been an adult present with the proper training to clear "the airway of a choking child." Finally, the suit claims that the party hosts waited too long to call 911.


There are no words that can express how deeply saddened I am when anyone loses a child. As parents, we do our best to love and protect our babies to our best ability. And unfortunately, our best isn't always good enough.

As much as I do have concerns about what happened to Azriel the day of her friend's party, I have to wonder if suing her friend's family for pain and suffering will truly bring the Estabrooks peace. (Maybe it will.)

More from CafeMom: 7 Questions I'm Asking Before My Kid Goes to Your House (Whether You Like It or Not)

Anyone who has ever visited a friend or loved one's house knows that accidents do happen. If I'm being honest, a part of me is scared of the day when my 2- and 1-year-old boys get older and want to start having friends over. As much as I pride myself on working to make sure no accidents happen, what if an unfortunate event does occur?

Hopefully, we won't enter into an age where some parents feel they need to have waivers before they open the doors to their home.

Am I saying there should be no accountability for children who die under someone else's watch? Of course not -- but I, as a mother, am on the fence as to whether or not I think a lawsuit would be what's best.

(Then again, there are expenses associated with Azriel's passing -- including medical and funeral costs -- that Mom and Dad have to pay.)

This is all too horrible to think about. I truly hope everyone involved can heal and find peace with time.

So sad.




Image via Tammy Bryngelson

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