Adoption Agency Hit With $11M Verdict in Child Abuse Lawsuit
An adoption agency that sent a 5-year-old girl to live with a couple who subjected her to sexual and physical abuse in their foster home has been hit with an $11 million verdict by a Philadelphia jury.
The award was handed down in favor of S.S., now 22 years old, who sued Bethanna Inc. and foster parents Walter and Deborah Scott. The award was broken down into $10 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
“This verdict sends a clear message that crimes and abuse perpetuated upon our children will not be tolerated. Our client’s voice was finally heard,” said Nadeem Bezar of Kline & Specter, who along with Emily Marks represented S.S.
In her lawsuit, S.S. claimed that starting in 2000 and between the ages of 6 and 10 she was molested and repeatedly sexually assaulted by Walter Scott and beaten by Deborah Scott. Her court papers also noted that Walter Scott had been under investigation for child rape based on accusations from other children in the foster home, and in 2016, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and rape of a child, among other charges.
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