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Grandparents of 8-year-old boy file suit for wrongful death


The maternal grandparents of an 8-year-old boy from Palmdale, California who was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend have filed a wrongful death suit against several Los Angeles county agencies, including those responsible for investigating incidents of child abuse at the home. The wrongful death suit alleges that child welfare workers illegally removed the boy from the grandparents' home, where he had lived for most of his life, and placed him with his mother, and that the agencies failed to properly investigate over 60 incidents of child abuse. The boy was found at his mother's home with a fractured skull, three broken ribs, and burns on his body. The boy suffered two knocked out teeth, and BB pellets were found in his lung and groin. He died soon afterwards.

The boy had been turned over to the grandparents when he was a month old, and the lawsuit claims that he was taken to his mother's unnecessarily and without court order when the boy was seven. The lawsuit also claims that 64 reports of abuse of the boy were filed with the agencies by teachers, neighbors, and family members, and that a social worker who was investigating the abuse did not report the boy's injuries and instead asked the mother on a date.

Wrongful death lawsuits are brought in cases where the negligence of a person or institution results in a person's wrongful death. In this case, it is alleged that the authorities in Los Angeles County negligently allowed the boy to stay with his mother and failed to properly investigate incidents of child abuse, leading to his death. Thus, the county agencies are said to have breached their duty of care towards the boy.

Anyone with a family member or loved one lost to negligence is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant and recover monetary damages for the loss. The survivors have the legal right to hold the defendant accountable for the negligence and recover for lost wages, medical bills, and the pain and suffering caused by the death. Anyone who has lost someone to a wrongful death has the legal right to seek just, fair, and equitable legal redress.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Wrongful Death lawsuit in 8-year-old boy's death moves forward," Samantha Tata & Lolita Lopez, August 27, 2013.

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