California woman accused of negligence in foster care case

Horrific stories of neglect and injury have emerged from a facility that was licensed as a foster home for medically fragile children in the state of California. The woman who operated that San Francisco facility is now facing civil litigation from family members of one of the minor victims, who reportedly suffered serious injury when she was clad in bleach-soaked diapers. The defendant is accused of negligence and other violations.

The civil suit stems from incidents that occurred in 2009, when the 8-month-old infant was sent to live with the defendant after being removed from her parents’ home. That child was brought to a Kaiser physician in August 2010 by the defendant’s daughter; the toddler had suffered first- and second-degree burns to her lower body. Officials determined that the child had been clothed in bleach-soaked diapers because she soiled herself often.

Parents of the victim in this case say that the burn injuries were not the only violation committed by the negligent foster mother. She is also accused of failing to provide the child with her prescribed medication. Other children were also removed from her care after developing severe diaper rash and showing other signs of abuse.

Criminal consequences for the woman were paltry; she pleaded no contest to child endangerment charges, and she has been required to attend child abuse prevention classes. She has also been banned from accepting foster children in the future. The woman did not spend any time in custody because of the abuse.

Although the woman was not subject to harsh criminal penalties, she may be held accountable in civil court for the burn injuries and negligence. Relatives of the victim may be able to recover financial damages for the child’s injuries, including potential compensation for disfigurement and other civil claims. California personal injury attorneys may be able to help parents whose children have suffered personal injury while housed in foster care.

Source: The Daily Journal, “Family of bleach-burned foster child sues Moore Foster Home” Michelle Durand, Mar. 15, 2014