PUBLISHED: 18:54 EST, 21 June 2012 | UPDATED: 05:08 EST, 22 June 2012
The mother of a young Maryland girl shot in the head by a teenager who was supposed to be under house arrest is suing the company that made his GPS tracking ankle monitor.
Danielle Brooks, whose five-year-old daughter Raven Wyatt was struck by a stray bullet fired by juvenile repeat offender Lamont Davis in 2009, is seeking $10 million for each of seven claims, arguing that the Nebraska-based manufacturer iSECUREtrac knew the monitoring device was faulty.
According to the lawsuit, Mr Davis’ anklet failed to track his movements when he escaped his home while under GPS surveillance and got into a fistfight on the street with another teen.
Brain-damaged: Raven Wyatt, pictured, was five when a stray bullet fired by the escaped Mr Davis hit her
The fight heated up and Mr Davis, an alleged member of a local street gang who was confined to his house for robbery and assault charges, began shooting into a crowded Baltimore intersection.
One of his bullets struck Ms Wyatt, now eight, in the head, causing serious injuries that left her brain-damaged. Her care will cost an estimated $7 million over her lifetime.
Ms Brooks claims iSECUREtrac failed to ‘provide accurate and continuous real-time violation alerts of juveniles who had violated the terms and conditions of home detention orders,’ according to the lawsuit.
W. Charles Bailey Jr, the family’s attorney, told ABC News the company knew its monitoring system wasn’t accurate.
‘There appears to be some flaws in the system, and it appears that some folks were aware of this,’ he said.
‘Even though they were aware of it, steps weren’t taken and warrants weren’t made and dangerous juveniles were able to leave the house.
‘You can’t be selling a product that is supposed to be saving people money if a little girl is going to get shot.’
The teenager was found guilty of first degree attempted murder in Ms Wyatt’s shooting, second degree attempted murder, the use of a handgun in committing a crime and possession of a firearm by minor.
Shooter: Lamont Davis, pictured, fled his home while under house arrest but the ankle monitor didn’t track him
The state’s then-secretary of juvenile services said he had ‘concerns’ about the technology and the manufacturer during Mr Davis’ trial, according to theBaltimore Sun.
Mr Bailey said the reliability of the teen’s GPS records confused prosecutors and defense counsel, with the tracker software’s short range of motion throwing off both attorneys.
‘There would be all these monitoring violations once you got past 150 feet,’ Mr Bailey told ABC News.
‘This is a big part of the problem. Was he or wasn’t he there? When you have a juvenile (under GPS monitoring), it’s one thing if it’s Martha Stewart, it’s holy other if it’s a kid with a gun.’
A testimony at Mr Davis’ trial showed that the state-sanctioned monitoring system could provide false data about location, did not work in certain ‘dead zones’, and couldn’t tell where an offender was unless the juvenile carried a cell phone-size tracker to communicate with the ankle bracelet, according to the Baltimore Sun.
But the program still shows when the person is out of bounds, state officials said.
Mr Davis’ lawyers maintained that the records were accurate and the teen could not therefore have been the shooter.
Donald DeVore who was secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services in 2009 said an internal review found no major faults with the iSECURE system.
‘It really is not intended to be a program in and of itself,’ Mr DeVore told ABC News. ‘It’s intended to be part of a level of supervision. It has to be supported with community service, visitation and court appearances.’
Ms Wyatt suffers speech difficulties and uncontrollable movements of her limbs.
‘She’s functional, she can sort of talk, she can play,’ Mr Bailey said.
‘But she has speech difficulties. She has problems with the movement of her limbs. She can’t walk or play normally.’
Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services uses the technology as an alternative to detention as part of its treatment for juvenile offenders.