09-07-2006, 02:52 AM #1Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
FL - DCF appeals abused girl's $26 million verdict
This one makes you think!
The state argued Wednesday that an appeals court should throw out a jury verdict of $26 million for a girl who was beaten nearly to death after an incomplete child abuse investigation.
Marissa Amora sustained severe brain damage from abuse in 2001 when she was 2 years old. She now lives with an adoptive family in North Florida, but cannot walk, swallow or remember more than a few words.
Though a fractured clavicle is a common accidental injury for children who can walk, Judge Gary M. Farmer said he had seen cases of children removed from their parents with less evidence of abuse. But Farmer said he wasn't sure to what extent a government agency could legally be held responsible for negligence.
"I don't know where I am on this case," he said.
Should DCF be held legally (and financially!) responsible? Would it do any good?
09-07-2006, 04:14 AM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2004
Were CPS investigating the family and didn't finish the investigation and this happened to the little girl? If that is what happened then I believe they should be held financially responsible. Maybe it will take a big settlement like that to open their eyes...finally! How many kids have to be murdered or hurt like this little girl before they get a clue. I don't know why they don't hire more social workers so that they aren't so over burdened. This has been going on for years and years. Someone is going to pay for that little girls care for the rest of her life. I feel so bad for her. She was probably a normal healthy little girl before someone almost killed her. It's horrible. I hope that the parents are in prison.
09-07-2006, 12:54 PM #3Former Member
Originally Posted by Bobbisangel
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
01-13-2016, 10:22 AM #4
The lawyers had a half-dozen thick notebooks on the tables in front of them. The little girl discussed in them had a coloring book.
As the lawyers recalled her near-fatal beating almost seven years ago, Marissa Amora played patty-cake, gave high-fives and giggled. In what was supposed to be a whisper, she told her nurse - too late - that she needed a potty break...
Like any toddler would be, Marissa was bored during the Nov. 27 hearing in the Jackson County courthouse. But Marissa's no toddler - except in her mind. She's 9 years old, but has reached what is expected to be her mental peak...
The facts had not changed since May 17, 2005, when a Palm Beach County jury concluded that if the Florida Department of Children and Families had followed its own rules and completed an investigation of Marissa's Lake Worth home, she could have been spared the Jan. 11, 2001, beating that left her comatose with a swollen brain and lacerated liver. Because her prospects for recovery were so dim, and because recovery would mean such costly care, the state started seeking a do-not-resuscitate order...
During the trial, the state's own expert testified that Marissa's life care plan would cost about $20 million - with private providers...
What DCF has paid its
private lawyers: $296,835.77
What DCF has paid Marissa: $100,000
What Marissa needs: $17,720 a month for daily nurses
What Medicaid pays: $4,200
A sad story of a girl left brain-damaged by child abuse
01-13-2016, 10:25 AM #5
Two years later, the settlement hadn’t been paid and Dawn was still fighting with the State for assistance.
Last year, Burnie Thompson from Talk Radio 101 FM and his listeners raised an astounding 10,000 diapers for Marissa. They loaded the diapers on a UPS truck donated for use specific to this purpose and delivered them to Marissa’s home in Marianna.
Dawn Amora and her husband own a small restaraunt in Marianna Florida called Cornerstone. They work hard to provide for their 7 special needs kids, but it usually isn’t enough...
the settlement that Marissa Amora has received is specific to her medical expenses, meaning that the money cannot be used for anything other than the medical expenses of Marissa Amora.
01-13-2016, 10:36 AM #6
The House unanimously passed Marissa's claims bill Thursday, 114-0. Marissa and Amora are traveling to Tallahassee today for the Senate vote.
The state would give Marissa and her family $1.2 million this year and then $1.7 million installments the next 10 years, under the bill. A Palm Beach County jury in 2005 awarded Marissa $35 million for her injuries and suffering and found the state and DCF responsible for 75 percent of the damages.
But the Legislature is required to approve any civil judgments against government agencies of more than $100,000. To get court-ordered settlements, claims bills like the one for Marissa must be filed.
That prompted a Palm Beach County state DCF investigator to visit the Lake Worth apartment where Marissa and her mother lived. There were no toys, clothes or crib. Yet two days after this investigation, Marissa was discharged from the hospital, "to the dismay of hospital employees, who begged DCF to reconsider, with several employees offering to adopt Marissa," the report said.
Less than one month after Marissa's release from the hospital, she suffered brain injuries as a result of abuse from her mother's boyfriend, who reportedly swung the child by her arms and legs into the wall and floor.
No one has been charged with a crime in connection with Marissa's abuse, but her birth mother lost her parental rights.
01-13-2016, 10:44 AM #7
"I went surfing on a surfboard, and I got seaweed on my toes!" exclaimed Marissa Amora on Saturday. Marissa still suffers effects of a catastrophic brain injury, and until Autism Surfs came to Bay County this year, she had never been to the beach.
"We've come to the last four events," said Marissa's mom, Dawn. "She's able to sit in the water and play and people have physically carried her from the street to the beach, onto the water, on a surfboard so that she can be a kid just like everybody else."
It's making kids feel like everybody else that drives Autism Surfs, and keeps people coming back...
"Marissa again, she's in a wheelchair," said Dawn. "She also has a feeding tube, and just to be able to get her in the water and get her on the surf and play in the sand and make sandcastles, it's something she never gets to experience. I just don't know how to say this. It's changed her life. It's just changed her life."
01-13-2016, 10:50 AM #8
Nine students at Margaret K. Lewis received magical Monday makeovers — hair, makeup and manicures. Several volunteers from Indulgence and Haney Technical Center provided the styling...
Marissa Amora’s hair was finished, her braids assymitrically assembled to the right of her face. She was then led to a mirror, and when she saw herself in the mirror, she shreiked with joy.
01-13-2016, 10:55 AM #9
01-13-2016, 11:24 AM #10
Her family’s special needs range from autism to schizophrenia and cerebral palsy and more, but to Dawn they are “just a normal family,” and she’s a normal mother.
According to Dawn, “People think you have to be a perfect angel parent to be a foster or adoptive parent — that’s not true. You have to be an absolutely normal parent who has toys all over the floor and maybe doesn’t have all the laundry done.”...
As for what drove Dawn to adopt her children, she says they have made her family complete. “The children have done more for me than I have for them. Being a parent to these children makes me feel whole. Their love is unconditional and they’re amazing.” said Dawn.
She hopes her children will inspire others to open their homes to foster children. “These kids can bring so much joy to our lives. If you can provide love to a child, the rewards are out of this world.”
At any given time, there are 750 children up for adoption in Florida. To become a foster or adoptive parent, a no-cost class is required. To begin the foster parent/adoption process, contact the Life Management Center, 910 Harrison Ave, Panama City, (850) 522-4485.
01-13-2016, 01:39 PM #11
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