State of Maryland Pays $1.5M in Foster Care Abuse Suit

In what is most likely the largest individual settlement of its kind, the State of Maryland agreed this week to settle the suit of a 6 year old child abused while in foster care. Presently, the severely brain-damaged boy, Brandon, is confined to a hospital bed in his Southwest Baltimore home, where he requires daily dialysis and tube feeding. In July of 2004, young Brandon sustained his horrific injuries when a teen age girl in his foster home with a history of violence allegedly slammed his head into a set of concrete steps. Amazingly, the Department of Social Services had removed another child from the same foster home in 2003 due to abuse by the same teenager, but for reasons unknown the home was re certified later that year. Brandon was placed in foster care in May of 2004 after his mother suffered a sickle-cell anemia episode, while she was in the Maryland Witness Protection Program. Prior to sustaining his brain injuries, Brandon also had his arm broken, a fact also missed by DSS.
This settlement is long overdue, and clearly highlights the ongoing problems with Maryland Social Services. It is unfortunate that preventable tragedies like this are allowed to occur. It is even more sad that the State of Maryland has to be forced to acknowledge the extent of the problem through litigation. Kudos to Brandon’s legal team for this groundbreaking settlement.

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