Posted: February 17, 2015

Kline & Specter’s David Inscho and Charles Becker have secured a $950,000 settlement for William Saunders, Jr. in a civil rights case against the City of Philadelphia and a Department of Human Services caseworker for knowingly placing the child in the home of his estranged father and his father’s violent fiancée rather than with his now-adoptive parents. This action, coupled with the case worker’s misrepresentation to family court of the fiancée being a fit guardian of the child demonstrated deliberate indifference to the welfare of Saunders, Inscho and Becker claimed in their lawsuit. That violated his constitutional rights under the “state created danger” theory of liability. During his two and half month stay at his father’s home, Saunders was repeatedly abused by the fiancée, culminating in severe injuries. Despite neighbors’ calls to the DHS reporting the abuse, the case worker failed to intervene to protect William. The injuries have caused permanent neurological problems for Saunders. Inscho was quoted as saying, “We were pleased to have achieved a good result for this young man who was unfortunately neglected by the City agency that was obligated to look out for his welfare. Kline & Specter is dedicated to working on behalf of children, like William, who suffer injuries as result of government misconduct.”