What Happened

A 14-year-old in a group home is not allowed to use the phone, as it was not his turn.  Angered, he pulls out a knife he had hidden while doing his after-dinner clean up chores, and stabbed the 24 year old childcare worker to death.  

The kid who stabbed the child care worker more than 20 times, got four of the five other boys to help him roll the child care worker up in the area rug on which he died. The youngest of the boys in the group home didn’t refuse, he just couldn’t speak. The 9-year-old just stood there in shock. He was in the room when the 14-year-old started screaming at and stabbing the child care worker. He watched the whole thing, in shock unable to speak or move.  

The other boys carried the body, now wrapped in the rug, out the back door and into the alley. One of the neighbors heard something and called the police. When they arrived, the boy who had committed the murder was trying to wash the blood off of his hands.

The Claim That Followed 

The child care worker, a newly married college student who was working on his master’s degree in social work, was on the clock, working his usual night shift. The workers’ comp insurance company for the child welfare organization paid a lump sum settlement to the employee’s widow. The widow filed a lawsuit against the private nonprofit child welfare organization and against the county which placed the 14-year-old alleging that both knew the dangerous propensities of the young man, and that he should have been placed in a facility with a higher level of supervision. 

Ultimately, the lawsuit against the private non profit child welfare agency was dismissed, but the county did pay a settlement to resolve the lawsuit. While the child welfare agency did not incur direct costs, they did pay additional worker’s compensation premiums over the next several years as the insurance company payment for the tragedy was factored into the experience modification of their premium.

If you have questions about your coverage call an Child Welfare Insurance Specialist at (517) 545-9325 or click here to learn more.