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Plaintiffs Awarded $9.7 million in New York City Case of Foster Child Fraud, Physical Abuse

December 7th, 2012   No Comments   Abuse, Court Cases, Damage Claims

In a 15-year-old court case against a “colossal breakdown” of New York City’s foster care system, damages were awarded to 10 disabled people whom their plaintiff attorney said were fraudulently adopted and subsequently subjected to years of horrible child abuse and physical abuse. The $9.7 million award settlement for damage claims in the case of foster parent Judith Leekin, who moved to Florida and now at 67 is in prison for a fraud conviction, comes at “a crucial time” for the plaintiffs, said plaintiff attorney and Florida child advocacy lawyer Howard M. Talenfeld, as quoted in the New York Times. The former foster children now are mostly in their 20s. Some are homeless. All have special needs, from physical and developmental disabilities, to retardation and autism. Because of the precariousness of the plaintiffs’ situation, Talenfeld told the paper, trusts or structured settlements will be used to ensure they “will have resources to protect them in the future.”

City officials admitted no fault in the settlement. The city was the first of four defendants in the case. Cases against three private adoption agencies that had contracts with the city are pending. In all, Ms. Leekin collected $1.68 million in foster child subsidies by using aliases to adopt the children. Instead of providing them care, she restrained them with plastic ties and handcuffs, beat them with sticks and hangers – and personally lived a lavish lifestyle.

Read the entire story here.

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