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Palm Beach Post Editorial: Wellington Family’s Horror Latest Reason to Reform System for Paying Victims of Government Negligence

October 30th, 2013   No Comments   Abuse, Court Cases, Damage Claims

In this Palm Beach Post editorial, staff editorial writer Rhoda Swan argues that it’s long-past time that Florida legislators change their stance and process regarding claims bills necessary to pay multi-million dollar damage awards against state agencies like the Florida Department of Children and Families. As advocates have long said, reform the system, and pay the damage awards.

As Swan wrote, “A Wellington family awarded $5 million for the sexual abuse perpetrated on their son by a foster child must get in line with at least 25 other victims of government negligence in Florida.

“The judgment against the Department of Children and Families will become another ‘claims bill,’ which the Legislature must approve before the family is paid. Legislators passed no claims bill last session, because Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, wants to reform the system first.

“…Attorney Howard Talenfeld will lobby legislators to pay [the family]. Sen. Gaetz dislikes the role lobbyists play, but the system is the problem. Legislators should remove the politics by increasing what governments can pay without legislative approval. Delayed reform means delayed justice.”

Read the entire column here.

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