$5 Million Settlement Against New Jersey DYFS for Allowing the Physical and Sexual Abuse of a 2 year old
On December 16, 2011, a jury in the Superior Court in Mercer County New Jersey awarded a verdict of $3.25 million in favor of a minor child who suffered extensive physical and psychological abuse while in DYFS’s custody. Prior to the punitive damages phase of the case, the parties agreed to settle the case for $5 million.
Specifically, the evidence established that the child, who was only 2 years old at the time, was beaten, suffered chemical burns, and was sexually abused after DYFS placed her with a known sex offender. DYFS was even aware of the abuse — and substantiated it — but left her in the care of the abuser and never came back to check on her. A neighbor called several weeks later to report that the 2 year old was found with her hands bound, beaten, and hanging from a hook on a door.
During the trial, the DYFS caseworkers admitted that they repeatedly violated state law and court orders in overseeing the child’s care, and that this is a common practice. Additionally, even after DYFS discovered the severity of the child’s injuries, they failed to provide her with the proper physical and psychological care for years afterward. The child, who is now 13 years old, will suffer severe physical and emotional scars for the rest of her life. Fortunately, the recovery from this settlement will enable the child to receive the necessary medical care and psychological counseling that would otherwise be impossible to afford.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of negligence or misconduct of DYFS or other state agencies, it is important that you speak to a New Jersey DYFS Abuse Lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our law firm today for a FREE consultation .