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Individual Plaintiffs & Damages

When a child welfare system’s failings seriously harm individual children, Children’s Rights can help them get the relief they deserve.

While Children’s Rights focuses first and foremost on systemwide class action reform campaigns, there are some instances in which the harm suffered by individual children dependent on a failing child welfare system is so severe that we will consider pursuing individual damages actions seeking additional accountability for the system’s failures.

Some children who have suffered severe injuries as a result of a child welfare agency’s failures may be entitled to monetary compensation under federal and state law.

In addition to helping these children get the recompense they deserve — and often need in order to recover from the long-term effects of the mistreatment they have experienced — individual damages actions can complement our broader reform efforts in highlighting the devastating harm that failing child welfare systems cause in children’s lives.

Equally important, a properly framed damages lawsuit can establish previously unrecognized legal rights for children, document the system’s failures, and spur needed reform that benefits not only the individual child plaintiff, but also other children dependent on the child welfare system in question.

Children’s Rights has been successful in pursuing individual damages actions, securing monetary damages for children harmed by the failures of child welfare systems in New Jersey and New York, exposing dangerous and illegal practices within those systems, and establishing critical new legal rights for children.

Because there are many procedural and legal hurdles to the success of a damages lawsuit, it is vital that it be handled by attorneys with expertise and experience in children’s rights law. Not only can a poorly framed lawsuit result in a dismissal, but it may also create bad law for other children seeking to vindicate their rights through the courts.

If you’re interested in finding out more:

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