A lawsuit filed this week revealed a long history of willful neglect from the Florida Department of Children and Families. The abuse victims, who were adopted twins, suffered years of neglect and mistreatment from their parents, which eventually led to one of the children’s death.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the twins’ now 11-year-old sister, identified as “J.B.,” who retold the children’s shocking mistreatment before their adoptive father murdered one of the siblings and injured another.
In 2011, the parents faced criminal charges after law enforcement found the two children in their father’s car, which reeked of hazardous chemicals. The boy suffered severe burns, and his sister died as a result of her injuries.
“It’s a horrible, disgusting set of facts,” said Attorney Todd Falzone, who represents J.B. According to the lawsuit, the children suffered abuse for years, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Falzone then explained that DCF failed the children by allowing the abuse to continue. “It’s about a systematic failure of DCF and its agency to protect children that they’re supposed to be protecting.”
The lawsuit revealed that, when the children were formally adopted in 2007 by their abusive parents, DCF investigators knew about the allegations of mistreatment but failed to halt legal proceedings. Falzone is suing DCF for the right to trial by jury. DCF faced another suit in 2012, filed on behalf of the twins. Like J.B.’s claims, the 2012 lawsuit alleged the same abuse from the parents and neglect from DCF.
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