Gaithersburg Mom Files $20 Million Lawsuit Over Toddler’s Death
Hera McLeod, mother of 16-month-old allegedly drowned by his father, files suit against Ashburn Psychological Services.
Weeks after a Manassas City, VA, father was charged with first-degree murder in the drowning death of his infant son, the child's mother has filed suit against the Ashburn psychology firm whose assessment authorized the man's visits with his son — ultimately allowing for the child's death, she alleges.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday night that Hera McLeod, a Gaithersburg resident and the mother of 16-month-old Prince McLeod Rams, is filing suit against Ashburn Psychological services and specifically a psychologist who works there, saying a report that cleared the mental health of the boy's father, Joaquin Rams, led to a court ruling that allowed Rams to visit unsupervised with his son.
Patch reported earlier this month that Rams, 40, allegedly took out life insurance policies on the boy "and falsely claimed the tot's mother was dead," according to court documents filed by a Manassas City Police detective.
The Ashburn firm did not offer a comment to the Post, it reported.
On its website, the firm calls itself "the premier clinical psychology and psychiatry practice in Loudoun County," also serving other areas of Northern Virginia from Great Falls to Fairfax and Middleburg.
The firm's director, Michael Oberschneider, writes a blog for Ashburn Patch.
Rams, now accused of drowning his son, first gave police a different account of what happened to his son in October.
Rams claimed his son had a seizure before he was rushed to a Fairfax County hospital (though Prince did have a history of seizures, the Washington Post has reported).
Prince McLeod Rams died the next day, and police arrested Rams and charged him in the murder.
"Prince only survived three visits before on the fourth visit coming home brain dead and cold. Every single time I said goodbye to my son before handing him over to Luc, my gut would scream bloody hell. My instincts at this time told me to run," McLeod wrote in a recent post on her blog Cappuccino Queen.
Patch editor Mary Stachyra reported for this story.