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Young boy dies from abuse; grandparents file wrongful death suit

Many of the previous postings in this blog have discussed personal injury lawsuits arising from occurrences such as car accidents, pedestrian accidents or motorcycle accidents. As has been previously discussed, when those accidents result in the death of an individual due to another person's negligence, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation from the negligent party.

Although the situation outlined above is a common type of wrongful death lawsuit, it is not the only type of situation in which a family may be able to recover compensation for a loved one's wrongful death. A case that is currently underway in California shows a different type of situation in which a family is trying to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one caused by an individual or agency's negligence.

The grandparents of an eight-year-old boy have filed the lawsuit. They claim his mother and her boyfriend beat the boy to death. The lawsuit is filed against several agencies in Los Angeles. The grandparents are seeking damages based on their claim that child welfare workers illegally removed the boy from his grandparents' home and returned him to the home of his mother. The grandparents are also claiming that there were more than 60 reports of abuse that were not appropriately or properly investigated.

When the boy was just one month of age, his mother gave him to her parents, stating that she did not love or want him. Seven years later, the mother tried to regain custody of her son. Unfortunately, the boy was placed back into the care and custody of his mother by local authorities, despite his grandparents' objections and without a court order.

Just seven months later, the boy was found in the apartment rented by his mother and her boyfriend. He was barely breathing, had three broken ribs, a fractured skull, burns on his skin and numerous other injuries.

According to the lawsuit filed by the grandparents, there were 64 reports of abuse relayed by teachers, family members and neighbors. There were eight separate investigations into abuse initiated. In addition, the mother already had had another child removed from her home because of abuse.

The grandparents filling the lawsuit want to see a change in the way agencies and law enforcement individuals handle these types of cases. If this case had been handled differently, it may have prevented this tragic loss of a loved one.

Source: NBC Southern California, "Wrongful Death Lawsuit in 8-Year-Old Boy's Slaying Moves Forward," Samantha Tata and Lolita Lopez, Aug. 27, 2013

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