Adoptive Dad of Murdered 4-Year-Old is Not Allowed to Receive North Carolina Wrongful Death Damages, Says Jury

August 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Although Johnny Paddock was never charged in the death of his 4-year-old adoptive son Sean Paddock, he will not be allowed to benefit from a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit filed by the boy’s biological grandfather. Paddock’s wife, Lynn Paddock, was convicted of felony child abuse and first-degree murder. She is serving a life sentence.

Police say that Sean suffocated after being bound too tightly in blankets on February 26, 2006. Although Johnny claims he knew nothing of the abuse, the civil court says that Johnny “aided and abetted” Lynn.

Sean’s five adopted siblings have also filed a North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit against Johnny. In addition, they are suing Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc. for North Carolina personal injury because the group placed them with the Paddocks. Sean’s grandfather, Ron Ford, is also suing the group.

During Lynn’s 2008 criminal trial, the Paddock kids testified that she beat them on a nearly daily basis with wooden spoons, plastic rods, and other devices. They also say that she controlled when they could go to the bathroom and what they ate, made them exercise, and forced them to sit in front of a wall for hours. They claim she kept them away from other adults and kids.

Some of the kids still live with Johnny, who they say never beat them and was either asleep or away when they were abused by their mom. Still, Ford’s lawyers contend that Paddock knew about the abuse and didn’t do anything to stop it.

Because of this jury’s finding, Johnny will not be able to obtain any recovery from the wrongful death lawsuits filed over Sean’s murder. The verdict removes him as Sean’s legal dad and now paves the way for Sean’s siblings to win damages.

Ford, who lost his standing as Sean’s relative when the Paddocks adopted the boy, also won’t be collecting any damages from Sean’s estate. Following the jury’s verdict, Ford says that the fact that Johnny was being held accountable for what happened to Sean makes him “very very happy with this.”

North Carolina Wrongful Death
As you can see with this case, North Carolina wrongful death actions can be complicated, which is why you want an experienced Charlotte, NC wrongful death law firm handling your case. There may be complex issues involved, such as trying to prevent a family member who may played a factor in causing the victim’s passing from recovering compensation.

Losing someone you love is never easy under any circumstances and obtaining damages won’t make up for your loss. It can, however, allow you to hold the responsible parties accountable and serve as acknowledgement of what happened. In can also provide some financial relief.

Father faulted in death, The Herald, July 24, 2011

Verdict means adoptive father can’t benefit from boy’s death, WRAL, July 20, 2011

Paddock will pay for son’s murder, News Observer, September 22, 2009

Related Web Resource:

Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc.

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Convicted Murderer Mike Peterson Now Owes $35 Million for Wrongful Death of His Wife, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, February 11, 2011

North Carolina Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Stokes County Department of Social Services For Son’s Drowning Deaths, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, April 2, 2008

North Carolina Wrongful Death Results in $10M Award Against Taser, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2011

Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, July 11, 2011


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