Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Discovery ongoing in foster family abuse case involving two Philadelphia boys

Lawsuits

By Nicholas Malfitano | Mar 19, 2019

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PHILADELPHIA – Continued discovery is scheduled to take place in the case of two young Philadelphia boys, ages 6 and 8 years old, who were allegedly sexually abused by their foster parent’s grandson.

Through a motion from plaintiff counsel John R. Trotman Jr. filed on March 11, it requested that defendant Turning Points for Children shall “provide full, complete and verified responses to plaintiff’s interrogatories and request for production of documents, within 20 days of the date of this Order or risk sanctions upon further application to the Court."

A discovery deadline in the case has been listed as July 1 of this year. Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New, presiding over the instant litigation, has yet to rule on the motion.

J.C. and S.C., minors, by and through their parent/natural guardian, initially filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on May 15 versus Turning Points for Children, Louise Hunter and Northern Children’s Services, also all of Philadelphia.

According to the lawsuit, the minor plaintiffs were placed into Hunter’s care at her home in Philadelphia in August of 2016, an action coordinated and supervised by Turning Point for Children and Northern Children’s Services. In May 2017, Northern Children’s Services investigated and approved the residence for the plaintiffs’ continued placement there.

However, the suit claimed the inspection took place during a period of time when the plaintiffs were victims of sexual abuse by Hunter’s 15 year-old grandson.

“During the time period of approximately August of 2016 through July of 2017, defendant Hunter’s grandson, K.L.H., lived at the subject foster home…[and] sexually abused the minor plaintiffs. On information and belief, K. took video recordings of at least some of his sexual abuse of the minor plaintiffs,” the suit stated.

“As a direct and proximate result of defendants’ liability-producing conduct and this resulting sexual abuse and harm of minor plaintiffs, they suffered injuries which are serious and/or permanent including physical and emotional pain and suffering, anguish, inconvenience, embarrassment, humiliation and/or loss of life’s pleasures.”

Among numerous charges, the plaintiffs allege the defendants were responsible for “creating and/or enhancing an unsafe situation that allowed minor plaintiffs to be harmed and sexually abused, failing to reasonably and safely conduct and/or supervise the foster care of minor plaintiffs and failing to ensure that minor plaintiffs were properly monitored and supervised during their foster care.”

On Sept. 17, defense counsel Daniel J. Sherry filed a motion to compel responses from the plaintiff for matters of discovery, a motion later granted by Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge on Oct. 4.

On Jan. 10, Judge New granted a petition from the defense to appoint a guardian ad litem for K.L.H. Qawi Abdul-Rahman was appointed in such a capacity, for the purposes of protecting his interests for the duration of the litigation. Costs incurred for that guardianship will be handled by Northern Children’s Services.

For counts of negligence against each defendant, the plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages in an amount in excess of the limits of compulsory arbitration, costs, expenditures, delay damages, pre-and post-judgment interest, and/or any further relief as is found to be just and appropriate.

The plaintiffs are represented by Louis T. Silverman and John R. Trotman Jr. of Silverman Trotman & Schneider, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by George B. Keahey of Venema Proko Keahey & Dalvet and John A. Orlando of White & Williams, both in Philadelphia, plus Daniel J. Sherry and Donna M. Modestine of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, in King of Prussia.

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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