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$13 Million for Foster Abuse
August 10, 2012 permalink
The province of British Columbia is funding a $13 million settlement in the case of a girl who suffered severe brain injuries while in foster care as a baby. The article is unclear on where the money will go. It certainly cannot go directly to the brain-injured girl, named only as EB. $2.4 million went to the lawyers, the rest is probably in some kind of trust fund.
A judgment of $2.4 million against a for-profit corporation would quickly get them to change their ways, to avoid crushing damages from the same cause in the future. Not so with child protectors. The administrators don't lose a penny, the taxpayers get the entire bill. And some functionaries within the system, such as the $2.4 million law firm, profit nicely. They may even be hoping for more cases just like EB.
Saanich girl wins $13-million settlement in foster home abuse case
A Central Saanich girl who suffered severe brain injuries when she was a baby, allegedly at the hands of the boyfriend of her foster mom, has been awarded $13 million in an out-of-court settlement.
Details of the settlement for the girl, only identified as E.B., were revealed in a court ruling released Tuesday that found that the girl’s law firm should receive $2.4 million in legal fees.
The $13 million deal was reached in December, shortly before a three-month trial was scheduled to begin in B.C. Supreme Court.
The B.C. government, which was one of the named defendants, funded almost all of the settlement, with the foster mom’s insurer contributing $1 million and the boyfriend, who had no assets, nothing.
“The child will require, as the amount of the settlement attests, lifelong care,” said B.C. Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Macaulay in his reasons for judgment released Tuesday.
“In fact, the settlement was successfully negotiated on the basis that the child is entitled to one-to-one care at an annual cost of $250,000.”
The settlement was reached following the aquittal in January 2011 in the criminal trial of Avtar Rashi Basi, the boyfriend of foster mom Micheline Slader.
Basi was living in the Slader home at the time but had not been approved by the Ministry of Children and Family Development as a foster parent or caregiver.
The girl had been removed from the care of her mother shortly after birth and placed in Slader’s home.
Basi was accused of violently shaking the then 11-week old girl in November 2008 but a provincial court judge found that while he had caused the injuries, he was not criminally responsible. He was acquitted of aggravated assault.
Arising from the settlement, the girl’s lawyers sought court approval of $3 million in legal fees.
The Public Guardian and Trustee, a participant in the hearing, argued for a reduced fee of $2 million.
The judge found that $2.4 million was appropriate, noting that in two of the cases involving shaken babies, both having settlements of under $5.5 million, reasonable legal fees were found to be $1.3 million and $1.4 million.
The highest recorded legal fee in a medical malpractice case was $1.8 million against a settlement of $8.5 million, including costs, the judge noted.
According a letter from the family’s lawyers, quoted by the judge in his ruling on legal fees, the girl is now being provided with 24-hour nurses care in a private home, back with her family and guardian.
“She is extremely happy and described by all caregivers as being a happy child and physicians have described that she has improved since being with family,” says the letter. “She was overweight when she came to the family; she is now getting a proper diet and exercise and is a stable weight. Her seizures are well in control.”
Source: The Province