Monday, January 24, 2011

Broward child welfare officials failed to stop abuse of infant who suffered brain damage, attorney says

By Jon Burstein, Staff Writer
8:45 p.m. EST, January 24, 2011

Florida- Broward County child welfare officials failed to protect an infant who suffered brain damage after he was allowed to continue living with his mother and her boyfriend despite signs of abuse, one of the child's attorneys told jurors Monday.

Two months before Jace Manning's skull was fractured, his grandmother warned authorities that the 5-month-old was in danger after he was hospitalized with an unexplained bruise under his chin, said Gary M. Cohen, part of the legal team suing the Broward Sheriff's Office and Broward County on Jace's behalf. Opening statements in the Broward Circuit Court case were Monday.

"This never should have happened," Cohen said. "They had two months to get it right."

An attorney for the Sheriff's Office countered that the child protection investigator assigned to Jace's case did her job, trying to do what was right while following the law. The investigator was only "one spoke in the wheel" of the child protection system, said Sheri Weissenborn, part of the sheriff's legal team in the case. FULL STORY

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