Can You Sue the Government for Allowing Your Child to Be Abused?
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is watching your child be raised in an environment you cannot control. Sometimes, this is a mere inconvenience and a source of stress. In other situations, your child may be placed in a genuinely dangerous home setting where they are subjected to abuse and even torture. Such was the case when one boy was abused to such an extent that he lost his life. This was despite the fact that the abuse had been reported o the authorities multiple times. In situations like these, it may be possible to sue the state for allowing the abuse to continue and knowingly placing children in seriously dangerous environments.
Family Receives $32-Million Settlement for Death of 10-Year-Old Boy
On October 20th, 2022 the Insurance Journal reported that a family had received a $32-million settlement from Los Angeles County for the death of a 10-year-old child. This boy had been placed in a highly toxic, abusive, and dangerous environment for years prior to his death. Despite numerous complaints and reports of continued abuse, Los Angeles County did nothing to get the boy to safety. This eventually resulted in his death after a particularly bad incident in his home. In 2018, deputies arrived at the home after a 9/11 call from the mother, who initially reported that her son had been injured in a “fall.” The boy was taken to hospital, where he died the next day.
Over the next few years, the truth began to emerge. The mother and her new boyfriend were eventually charged with murder and torture. As of this writing, they have pleaded not guilty. The boy’s father and three siblings filed a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Family Services and an unspecified company that was contracted to provide home counseling. They allege that these parties did nothing to stop the abuse – despite numerous reports being filed by the concerned family members. The lawsuit states that thirteen reports of abuse were sent to the Department of Children and Family Services before the boy’s passing.
Outside of this civil suit, the mother and her boyfriend are going through a criminal trial in which they have been accused of beating the child, intentionally dropping him on his head, smashing him into furniture, denying him food, and denying him permission to use the washroom. They have also been accused of other forms of torture, such as force-feeding the child.
In addition to their $32-million settlement, the family received a $3–million settlement from the company that had been contracted by Los Angeles County to assist the Department of Children and Family Services. The Child Welfare Department later stated:
“We hope that Anthony’s family and loved ones find a small measure of peace and closure in the resolution of this tragic case. Anthony’s death and other child tragedies demonstrate the complexities of child welfare, and we continue to apply lessons learned to evolve and improve the way we work with children and families.”
Despite promises of ongoing reform, one has to ask how this could have possibly happened. It wasn’t like the Department was unaware of the abuse – they simply failed to act. No reason has been given for this failure, and this is perhaps the most worrying aspect of this entire story. If a family can report abuse 13 times without any action being taken, what happens when abuse occurs behind closed doors without any reports being filed? How many children are being abused right now behind closed doors in California? The number is probably higher than many of us would like to imagine.
UCLA Gynecologist Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse
The government has seemingly allowed abuse to continue not only in family homes but also in other areas, such as schools. On October 21st, it was reported that a former gynecologist at the University of California in Los Angeles was found guilty of five counts of sexual abuse. This criminal case followed a string of lawsuits against the university that resulted in more than $700 million in settlements.
This gynecologist was initially charged with a total of 21 counts of sexual abuse – giving you an idea of how many victims came forward with accusations. He was found not guilty of seven counts, and the jury was deadlocked on the remaining nine – prompting a mistrial for those cases.
Sadly, this is only one story among many other accounts of sexual abuse at universities across the nation. Many of these universities are publicly funded – raising serious questions about state governments and their ability to protect students from serious, traumatic harm. These victims did nothing wrong; they merely attempted to further their education. Instead of being provided with hope for the future, they left university with lasting trauma and psychological issues that will likely haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Something is clearly wrong when the government fails our youngest generations in such a spectacular manner. The only positive thing we can take away from this is the fact that these government agencies are being held accountable, and being forced to pay settlements to victims. One can only hope that this encourages real change and greater protection for our young adults and children.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in California, Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. is here to assist you every step of the way. We know that child abuse and injury can be devastating for families to deal with, especially if these incidents were clearly preventable. With our help, you can gather important evidence, negotiate for a settlement, and navigate the trial process with a sense of efficiency and confidence. We are committed to fighting for victims’ rights in the Golden State, and we can guide you toward a level of compensation that reflects the true extent of your damages. Book your consultation today, because the statute of limitations can prevent you from suing if you wait too long.