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Alberta Kafka Lawsuit
February 4, 2009 permalink
In another strange twist in the Alberta Kafka case the unnamed parents of the unnamed dead child are suing the director of Child Welfare for harm inflicted by the unnamed foster mother convicted of homicide in the boy's death. Alberta is diligently protecting the emotional health of the dead boy by suppressing all names in the case.
February 4, 2009
Dead boy's parents sue
Alta. gov't., convicted killer named in $400,000 legal action after three-year-old died in foster care
By TONY BLAIS, COURT BUREAU
The parents of a three-year-old Edmonton boy who died at the hands of his foster mother have launched a $400,000 lawsuit against the convicted killer and the province.
In a statement of claim filed Jan. 22, the parents - who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child - allege the director of Child Welfare was the boy's legal guardian and therefore responsible for his proper care.
The parents claim the Child and Family Services Department placed the boy with the foster mother, who also cannot be identified, notwithstanding that it knew or ought to have known that she was unable to properly care for him or otherwise likely to present a risk to his well-being.
They also allege the placement was made despite the fact there were other individuals who were able and willing to provide proper care for the young child.
On Jan. 26, 2007, the boy was assaulted by the foster mother and died in hospital the following day.
On Nov. 29, after three days of deliberations, a jury convicted the 34-year-old nurse of manslaughter. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 7.
According to the statement of claim, between Dec. 5, 2006, and Jan. 26, 2007, the province was repeatedly given information or had information available which ought to have caused them to remove the boy from the woman's care in the foster home or to initiate further investigations.
Instead, the parents allege the boy was permitted to remain in the home under the woman's care without supervision or further investigation.
It is also alleged in the lawsuit the foster mother abused the child while he was at her home, including repeatedly striking him using unreasonable and excessive force and locking him in a cold garage wearing only a diaper.
The parents allege the province was negligent in the boy's death for failing to implement a proper screening and monitoring system for foster parents and failing to provide foster parents with adequate support and training.
They claim they have suffered grief and the loss of the guidance, care and companionship of their son and are seeking $100,000 in general and special damages and $300,000 in aggravated and punitive damages.
Statements of claim contain unproven allegations.
During the foster mom's second-degree murder trial, jurors heard police were called to her west-end home after the boy was taken to hospital with severe head injuries.
The foster mother tearfully testified the boy had been displaying self-abusive behaviour and told the jury he hit his head on the toilet after falling from her arms.
A Crown medical expert told jurors the head injury was from non-accidental force and said it came from being repeatedly struck or shaken, or a combination of the two.
A child maltreatment expert told jurors that significant force would be required to cause such a brain injury, such as a high-speed crash or a three-storey fall.
Source: Edmonton Sun