$60 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Oregon Over Malnourished DHS Foster Kids
Mar 21, 2016 01:05 AM EDT
Oregon has been slapped with a $60 million lawsuit regarding two malnourished children who have been in foster care. The two children, a girl and a boy, who are siblings, reportedly experienced extreme starvation.
In a report by Statesman Journal, the foster parents have been identified as Danielle and John Yates, who are facing felony assault and criminal mistreatment charges. The two siblings have been placed in their home for two and a half years and as per investigations, they are severely underweight in line with their ages.
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) has not yet commented on the lawsuit that was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Thursday. Accordingly, the children involved in the case weighed the same weight as they did when they were 1 and 2 years old, they are now 4 and 5, Oregon Live reported.
Aside from starving the two children, Danielle and John are accused of physically and mentally abusing them, Koin 6 reported. Per the lawsuit, the foster parents are alleged of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, sexual abuse and physical abuse. The original amount being asked was $20 million but since the lawsuit asks for triple damages related to abuse and negligence, the final amount is said to be $67,200,000.
The two children have been placed under the custody of Danielle and John in May 2012 and that the foster kids have been placed in isolation for long periods of time. John reportedly sexually abused the two children but details about this have not been released yet.
The siblings were then taken to a hospital and spent more than a week for the injuries caused by starvation. DHS is being accused of ignoring the clear and repeated signs of child abuse and that they reportedly failed to remove them from the Yates residence despite removing two other children from the home due to the allegations of abuse.
The lawsuit has named nine DHS employees in total. Some employees named were said to be assigned as caseworkers. Oregon's new director of DHS, Clyde Saiki, said in a statement that he has since fired DHS chief operating officer Jerry Waybrant and welfare director Lois Day. Saiki is also named in the lawsuit.
The Yates' were arrested in March of 2015. A settlement hearing is set this April while a trial date has not been set yet.