Court Allows Parents to Ask for Damages from State Welfare

Court Allows Parents to Ask for Damages from State Welfare

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that a Utah family who claims the state Division of Child and Family Services wrongfully took their then-12-year-old son from them nearly five years ago can take their lawsuit to trial.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled last week there was some question whether the rights of Connie and James Roska were "recklessly or callously disregarded" when son their son, Rusty, was taken from them by caseworkers from the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.

DCFS placed Rusty in a foster home for a week in May 1999. Officials believed he had Munchausen's syndrome by proxy, a condition in which parents act as if their children are ill or make them ill to get attention.

Rusty said he grew sicker after he was placed in a foster home and was given an incorrect dose of medication.

Connie Roska has said her son suffers from chronic pain syndrome caused by problems with his gallbladder and kidneys.

The Roskas sued, alleging that DCFS workers failed to get a warrant and failed to use less intrusive methods as required by law.

Their lawsuit, which seeks $15 million in punitive damages, was thrown out by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson in 2002 but some of their claims were later reinstated by an appeals court.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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