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Firm Sues Florida Dept. of Children & Families, Settles Negligence Case for $14.26 Million


On January 26, 2001, DCF removed sixteen minor children and two developmentally disabled adults from the Gainesville, Florida home of Nellie Johnson due to allegations of egregious abuse and neglect. The children, who had all been adopted, reported that they were subjected to horrific abuse: Nellie Johnson repeatedly and without mercy beat them on a daily basis with pipes, boards, and her fists, subjecting them to physical and psychological torture. However, this wasn’t the first report that DCF had received that Johnson was abusing her twenty-three adopted children. In fact, over a 10-year period, between 1991 and 2000, DCF received at least 17 reports alleging that Johnson was abusing her foster / adopted children. Although each report contained similar allegations – that Johnson was physically and psychologically abusing the children – DCF, and specifically, the individual defendants, took no action to remove the children or close the Johnson home.

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