PHILADELPHIA – Proceedings in a case involving two young Philadelphia boys ages 6 and 8 years old who were allegedly sexually abused by their foster parent’s grandson, have been stayed until at April, due to what counsel referred to as “the unavailability of the plaintiffs.”
Through an order from Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Denis P. Cohen issued on Jan. 13, it stated that proceedings would be stayed for 90 days or until the plaintiffs can participate in the matter. Further, plaintiff counsel is to inform the court if the circumstances surrounding the deferral are resolved, at which point the case will be placed back into active status.
The judge’s decision resulted from a joint motion from both sides of counsel to defer future proceedings filed on Nov. 19, due to the “unavailability of the plaintiffs.”
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 Jan. 31, 2018 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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org