What Happened

The oldest son of the foster family wasn’t happy when the three little foster kids who came to live with them. His Mom no longer had time to help him with his homework, and she often missed his games because the 6-year-old foster kid would throw another tantrum and refuse to get in the car. He couldn’t have friends over anymore or go do anything anymore because of those kids. Suddenly it felt like he didn’t even exist. 

One afternoon his mom asked him to watch those little brats while she ran to the grocery store. He was trying to talk to his girlfriend on the phone, but the baby was in the playpen crying, the 2-year-old was rolling around bumping into him in one of those contraptions that lets toddlers rolls around, and the 6-year-old was driving him crazy. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore. He hung up the phone and grabbed the baby out of the playpen and shook her and screamed at her until she stopped crying. He dropped her back down into the playpen and grabbed the 6-year-old foster child, who was now standing behind him screaming for him to stop hurting the baby. The teen bent down and grabbed the boy by the ankles. The little boy fell backwards, and when he did, the teenage son of the foster mom lifted him off the ground by his ankles and started swinging him around. He didn’t mean to get that close to the brick fireplace. He only wanted to scare the boy and get him to shut up. 

There was an awful sound when the little boy’s skull hit the fireplace.

The Claim That Followed 

The bio family (yes the same people who were responsible for the child entering foster care in the first place) filed a $10 million lawsuit for wrongful death of their 6-year-old and injury to their baby. They claimed gross negligent supervision against the FFA for placing their three children with a family who had a biological son who was not accepting of the foster children. The insurance company defended the foster family agency, showing that the foster family had been vetted and trained and their home had been inspected in accordance with state standards before the foster children were placed in their home. Despite the best efforts of the foster family agency, the court determined that the FFA should have known that someone in the home felt animosity toward the foster children. Ultimately, a large settlement was made to the bio family, and trust funds were established for the baby who would need special care for the rest of her life, and for the 2-year old who reverted to being non-verbal following the witnessing of the murder of his older brother. Criminal charges were then filed against the teenage son and the foster mother. The teenage son we remanded to the juvenile justice system. And although it was her son who killed the 6-year-old foster child, it was the foster mother who was convicted and served several years in prison.

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