Girls Sexually Abused by Mother Earn $2 Million Settlement from ChildNet and Florida Department of Children and Families
Disclaimer: Most cases result in a lower recovery. Results may not be typical and reflect awards before deduction for attorneys’ fees and expenses. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
It’s a horrifying case of abuse that was reported and could have been avoided. The two young girls were repeatedly sexually abused by their mother, even after experts warned she was a threat to their safety. Community-based care provider ChildNet Inc., and the Florida Department of Children and Families were warned against unsupervised visits between the children and their mother, yet they allowed the visits to occur and advocated for increased visits contrary to professional recommendations.
The case became an example of threats and warnings ignored, and responsibility avoided as two young girls were repeatedly sexually abused. Plaintiffs were identified only as minor children I.N. and G.N. The plaintiffs’ attorneys claimed ChildNet acted in a culpably negligent manner and/or with willful and wanton disregard for the minor plaintiffs’ safety and well-being that ultimately caused the plaintiffs to be repeatedly sexually abused by their mother. Even after being removed from her, the children were returned for unsupervised visits against the recommendations of expert psychologists.
Throughout the dependency case, child psychologists repeatedly and “strongly recommended” supervised visitation. Following these visits, the Florida Abuse Hotline received numerous reports alleging the children’s complaints of rectal pain, and that they had engaged in unusual sexual behavior, including child-on-child sexual acts. Teachers also reported concerns.
Eventually, after ChildNet increased unsupervised visits between the children and their mother, a report to the state abuse hotline was verified. Now, experts say, the children – who are adopted by their grandparents, who spent more than $100,000 on dependency court fees trying to protect the girls from abuse – may need long-term psychological counseling.
The parties ultimately agreed to a negotiated $2.2 million settlement between ChildNet and DCF.
However, both refuse to accept responsibility for the abuse the children suffered while under their supervision.