Abused Florida Foster Children Win $2.9 Million in Landmark Civil Rights Decision
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld the right of three foster siblings to sue for damages resulting from sexual abuse committed against them while in foster care. The precedent setting decision (H.A.L. v. Foltz) focused on the unsupervised placement of three pre-school-aged foster children with two adolescent and teenage foster kids known to be sexual predators. Left alone together in the same home, the younger foster children reportedly were repeatedly raped by the older boys.
As filed by their parents on behalf of plaintiffs H.A.L., J.H.L., and S.L.L., (identified in the case by their initials for purposes of protecting the minors’ identities) the action was a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Defendants Ed Foltz (“Foltz”), Deborah Jones (“Jones”), and Virginia Jordan (“Jordan”). All three are employees with the Florida Department of Children and Families (“DCF”). In the motion, the plaintiffs alleged that the Defendants had violated the children’s Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process rights to physical safety and to be free from an unreasonable risk of harm.