The mother of a toddler who died in foster care has settled her lawsuit against the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the foster parents for $400,000
BY NOLAN CLAY firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: March 18, 2011
The mother of a toddler who died in foster care has settled her lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services and the foster parents for $400,000, records show.
Tamara Ely, of Ardmore, and her attorneys accepted $100,000 this year to dismiss her claims against DHS, records show.
She accepted $300,000 last year to dismiss her claims against the foster parents, the records show.
Raymond Palmer died on June 28, 2008, while under the care of foster parents Dale and Darla Owen. He was 19 months old when he was run over by a pickup in a pasture near Ardmore. He had been taken from his mother four months earlier.
In 2009, Ely sued DHS, the foster parents and the pickup driver, Heath Claborn. She alleged in her lawsuit that DHS knew the couple had too many foster children in the home to properly supervise.
Two weeks before the death, a Chickasaw Nation child welfare worker had visited the home and found no adults supervising the foster children, records show. The worker's supervisor reported the concerns to DHS, records show.
Raymond and his sister were among seven children at the foster home, DHS said. A DHS investigation confirmed child neglect, DHS said. No criminal charges were filed.
At the time of the accident, Dale Owen and some of his friends had been drinking a few beers and watching their children swim at a pond, DHS said.
The DHS settlement came from the state's self-insurance liability funds and not from the agency's operating funds.
The foster parents' settlement came from a foster parent liability insurance policy paid for by the state, records show.
The mother also reached a separate, undisclosed settlement with the driver's auto insurance, records show.
The bereaved parents should be collecting BILLION$. CPS needs to be sued out of existence.