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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