North Carolina Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Stokes County Department of Social Services For Son’s Drowning Deaths

April 2, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

In North Carolina, Melissa White is suing the Stokes County Department of Social Services for wrongful death. Her sons, Jeffrey, 4, and Jacob, 3, White, drowned in the Dan River in 2006 after the social services department had taken the boys from their home and placed them under their paternal grandparents’ care. Melissa is seeking over $10,000 in damages on behalf of her sons’ estate.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the department acted negligently when it placed the boys under the charge of their grandparents, who were suffering from poor health and were not in the proper physical shape to oversee the two boys.

Melissa is also accusing the DSS and its social workers of failing to send the boys to a safe place. The lawsuit contends that the department’s negligence resulted in the boys’ drowning deaths. They were 4 and 3 years old at the time.

Custody of the boys was given to the grandparents following complaints that domestic violence was taking place in their own home and an investigation followed. Melissa and the boys’ father, Jeffrey, Sr., are now divorced.

The two boys disappeared four months after being placed in their grandparents’ care. Their bodies were found in the river three days after their disappearance.

Last November, a state child-fatality review found that their were gaps in the services provided to protect the children and that the Stokes County DSS was working on more cases at a time than is normally recommended. The review also determined that the department did not properly review the danger risks that the kids actually faced in their parents’ home.

Our North Carolina and South Carolina personal injury law firm has helped many families recover damages for the untimely deaths of their loved ones.

In North Carolina, plaintiffs have two years from the time of a loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The DSS has filed a motion to have the case dismissed.

A good way to determine whether you have grounds to file a wrongful death claim is to speak to one of our wrongful death attorneys during your free consultation.

Mother sues Stokes over deaths,, March 15, 2008

Parents Of Boys Who Drowned File Wrongful Death Lawsuit, WXII12.dom, March 14, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Stokes County, North Carolina Department of Social Services

North Carolina Division of Social Services


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