ACLU Files Suit In Hard Lemonade Mishap

DETROIT (WWJ) – He lost his son to foster care for three days after mistakenly giving him a Mike’s Hard Lemonade at a Detroit Tigers game in 2008. Now, the Michigan man wants to make sure that no one else goes through what he did.

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Christopher Ratte,  an archeology professor at the University of Michigan, and his son Leo Ratte.

WWJ spoke with Michigan ACLU legal director Michael Steinberg, who said the family wants to change Michigan law so that only children in imminent danger are taken away from their parents.  

“This family is together and functioning. Although, if you speak to them, they’ll tell you that, for three of them — the mother, father and the child — this was the most traumatic incident of their lives,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg said family tried for three years to urge the state Legislature to pass “Leo’s Law” to fix Michigan’s emergency removal law, which they say is unconstitutional.

“When the bill did not even get a hearing last year, they had no choice but to file this case to ensure that other families don’t suffer the trauma that they did,” he said.

Ratte has said he didn’t know the drink was alcoholic.

Defendants in the suit include Detroit police officers as well as the county and state case workers who were involved in the incident.

  • Brian

    I agree that this law should be changed. Good luck to Dr. Ratte.

  • Susan

    Thank you Dr. Ratte for taking this COMMON issue to the Federal level!

  • Lawsuit In Case Of Child, Booze At Detroit Tigers Game Moves Forward « CBS Detroit

    […] the incident, a police officer took steps to put Leo into protective custody for several days. Leo’s parents later filed a lawsuit, saying their rights were violated. According to the suit, Wayne County Judge Judy Hartsfield had […]

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