Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Taylor v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 1, 2013

FELECIA TAYLOR, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants

Page 187

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 188

For FELICIA TAYLOR, Individually, and as Legal guardian for minor children, D.B. and T.B., Plaintiff: Jean-Marie Sylla, Jr., Jonathan Eric Agin, LEAD ATTORNEYS, TAYLOR SYLLA & AGIN, LLP, Washington, DC.

For DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Denise J. Baker, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Robert A. DeBerardinis, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Public Interest Division, Washington, DC; Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Section III, Washington, DC; Sarah L. Knapp, LEAD ATTORNEY, Erica Taylor McKinley, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC.

For OLIVIA GOLDEN, Director of Child and Family Services, LLOYLD J. JORDON, Director of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, ELANOR SANDERS, Social Worker for Child and Family Services, Defendants: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Denise J. Baker, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Section III, Washington, DC; Sarah L. Knapp, LEAD ATTORNEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC; Robert A. DeBerardinis, Jr., OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Public Interest Division, Washington, DC.

For ERICA SWEENEY, JUDITH ABUNAW, Defendants: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Denise J. Baker, Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Sarah L. Knapp, LEAD ATTORNEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC; Robert A. DeBerardinis, Jr., OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Public Interest Division, Washington, DC.

For IVAN C.A. WALKS, MD, NELL ROBERTS, Defendants: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Sarah L. Knapp, LEAD ATTORNEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC; Robert A. DeBerardinis, Jr., OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Public Interest Division, Washington, DC.

For DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Cross Claimant, Cross Defendant: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, David A. Jackson, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Erica Taylor McKinley, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC.

For OLIVIA GOLDEN, Director of Child and Family Services, LLOYLD J. JORDON, Director of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, ELANOR SANDERS, Social Worker for Child and Family Services, Cross Defendants: Denise J. Baker, Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; David A. Jackson, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC.

For DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Cross Claimant: Denise J. Baker, Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Erica Taylor McKinley, ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC; David A. Jackson, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC.

For DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, LLOYLD J. JORDON, Director of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, OLIVIA GOLDEN, Director of Child and Family Services, Cross Claimants: David A. Jackson, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC.

For JUDITH ABUNAW, ELANOR SANDERS, Social Worker for Child and Family Services, Cross Claimants: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Denise J. Baker, Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC.

For ERICA SWEENEY, Cross Claimant: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Denise J. Baker, Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC; Robert A. DeBerardinis, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Public Interest Division, Washington, DC.

For NELL ROBERTS, IVAN C.A. WALKS, MD, Cross Claimants: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC.

For IVAN C.A. WALKS, MD, Cross Defendant: David A. Jackson, LEAD ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Civil Litigation Division, Washington, DC; Ronald William Gill, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 189

BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

MEMORANDUM OPINION ON MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

This matter is before the Court on a motion for partial summary judgment by Defendants, the District of Columbia (hereinafter the " District" ) and current and former District employees Olivia Golden, Lloyd J. Jordon, Elanor Sanders, Erica Sweeney, Judith Abunaw, Ivan C.A. Walks, and Nell Roberts (collectively the " District Employees" ). See Mot. at Dkt. #207. Plaintiffs--Felecia Taylor, individually, and as legal guardian for minor Plaintiffs D.B. and T.B. (collectively " Plaintiffs" ) [1] --oppose the motion. See Opp. at Dkt. #210. [2] Having reviewed the briefing by the parties together with all other relevant materials, the Court now finds and rules as follows:

I. BACKGROUND

In May 2000, after becoming concerned for D.B.'s and T.B.'s health and welfare, the District removed the children from the custody of their birth mother and placed them in the foster care of Defendant Annie Malloy. [3] Third Am. Compl. (Dkt. #159) ¶ 20. They were 11 and 27 months old at the time. Id. ¶ 29. Plaintiffs allege that, while D.B. and T.B. were in Malloy's custody, they were physically and sexually abused, exposed to " substantial adult sex acts" and alcoholism, and otherwise mistreated and neglected. Id. ¶ 50. Plaintiffs assert that at the time D.B. and T.B. were placed in Malloy's custody, Defendants were aware of the risk that the children would be abused, but chose to disregard that risk. Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiffs claim that the District had received prior reports that other foster children in Malloy's care and been subject to similar abuse. Id.

Plaintiffs further allege that, during the three-year period that D.B. and T.B. lived with Defendant Malloy, Malloy was only licensed to foster children between the ages of 7 and 12 years old. Id. ¶ 29. During that same period, both minor Plaintiffs were under the age of 7 years old. Id. Therefore, Plaintiffs claim, the placement of the minor Plaintiffs in the care of Defendant Malloy was in violation of Malloy's foster care licensing capacity. Id. ¶ 30. Furthermore, Plaintiffs allege that the minor Plaintiffs were placed in Defendant Malloy's home without the necessary completion of all home assessments, adult background checks, and lead-based paint clearance inspections, and without having obtained a lead-based paint clearance inspection certificate for the residence prior to the minor Plaintiffs moving into the home. Id. ¶ 31.

According to Plaintiffs, approximately five months after D.B. and T.B. were placed with Malloy, the District initiated a " lead inspection" of Malloy's house, which

Page 190

revealed the presence of lead-based paint. Id. ¶ 33. On November 15, 2000, the Department of Housing (" DOH" ) issued a written " Notice of Defect" that stated that the lead hazard should be remediated within 10 days. Id. ¶ 34. Plaintiffs allege that the remediation never took place. Id. ¶ ¶ 36-37. Plaintiffs claim that the DOH issued a second " Notice of Defect" on October 17, 2002, and Defendants Thomas D. Walsh, Inc. (the property management company responsible for Defendant Malloy's home), Lucille Hicks (one of the owners of Defendant Malloy's home), and Malloy were again directed to remediate the hazard within 10 days. [4] Id. ¶ ¶ 10-12, 39. According to Plaintiffs, no action was taken to correct the hazardous situation or to remove the minor Plaintiffs from the hazardous environment. Id. ¶ 43.

Plaintiffs claim that D.B.'s and T.B.'s blood lead levels escalated to dangerous levels while they resided in Malloy's house. They assert that Defendants were aware of D.B.'s and T.B.'s escalating blood lead levels: " [t]he records indicate that [the children's] lead levels were being followed on a regular basis . . . by the [Department of Health] lead team." Id. ¶ 41.

According to Plaintiffs, despite being aware of the unacceptable living conditions at the Malloy residence, Defendants allowed D.B. and T.B. to remain in Malloy's custody for nearly three years. Id. ¶ ¶ 47-52. Plaintiffs allege that on March 1, 2003, after being " exposed [] to adult sex acts and/or other improper behavior and conduct by [Malloy]," the boys were finally removed from Malloy's custody and placed in the foster care custody of Plaintiff Taylor, with whom they continue to reside. Id. ¶ ¶ 52-53.

Plaintiffs allege that Malloy was relicensed at least twice during the time the minor Plaintiffs resided with her, in August 2000 and September 2001. Opp. at 2. Plaintiffs claim that in May 2000, when D.B. and T.B. were initially placed in the care of Defendant Malloy, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) was responsible for licensing foster care homes, while the Department of Health (DOH) was responsible for issuing licenses to District of Columbia foster parents. Compl. ¶ ¶ 22, 24. Plaintiffs claim that, after July 1, 2001, the District Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) assumed responsibility for licensing foster care homes in the District of Columbia, including issuing renewal licenses for Defendant Malloy and her residence. Id. ¶ 26; Opp. at 2. Plaintiffs claim that Defendant Golden was the Director and decision-maker for CFSA during the relevant period. Compl. ¶ 7. Furthermore, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant Jordan was the Director and decision-maker for DCRA during the relevant period, while Defendant Walks was the Director and decision-maker for DOH, and responsible for licensing Defendant Malloy as a foster parent. Id. ¶ ¶ 8, 15.

Plaintiffs claim that, during the three-year period, Defendants Sanders, Sweeney, and Abunaw were social workers at CFSA who were responsible for ensuring the safety of the minor Plaintiffs' care. Id. ¶ ¶ 9, 13, 14. Plaintiffs also claim that Defendant Roberts was a home assessor for CFSA during the relevant period, and responsible for monitoring the suitability of the minor Plaintiffs' foster placement. Id. ¶ 16.

Plaintiffs allege that, as a result of the Defendants' failure to protect D.B. and

Page 191

T.B. while they were in the District's custody, each child has suffered irreparable harm, including severe cognitive and behavioral defects. Id. ¶ 87. D.B. has severe mood and behavioral disorders, including anxiety, anger, ADHD, and learning disorders. He has been hospitalized on four separate occasions for suicidal and homicidal ideations, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Id. ¶ 88. T.B. requires psychotropic medication, psychological counseling, behavioral modification therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, and specialized education services. Id. ΒΆ 89. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.