State Agrees To Pay Family $25M To Settle DCS Case

first_imgState Agrees To Pay Family $25M To Settle DCS CaseIndiana will pay $25 million to conclude a northern Indiana family’s decade-long legal fight to clear their names after the Department of Child Services falsely prosecuted them for their daughter’s death.Roman and Lynnette Finnegan and their three children – Johnathon Abair, Tabitha Abair, and Katelynn Salyer – will share in the settlement confirmed Wednesday by their Indianapolis attorney, Ron Waicukauski of Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC.“It’s fair to say we’re very pleased this is finally resolved after so many years,” Waicukauski said. “The family has received a significant measure of justice,” he said, from “parties who were responsible for causing enormous suffering.”A federal jury in 2015 awarded the Finnegans $31.3 million against Pulaski County DCS agents and an Indiana State Police detective. The verdict included $12 million for conduct by state actors that jurors found shocked the conscience. Last year, the state appealed the verdictto the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was dismissed Wednesday after parties filed a joint motion noting settlement had been reached. The Chicago appeals court earlier this year ordered mediation in the long-running matter.A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Child Services did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.The Indiana Attorney General’s Office, which represented DCS in the litigation, released a copy of the settlement agreement Thursday afternoon.Among the settlement terms, Chief Counsel of Appeals Stephen Creason said in a statement, “The parties agree and understand that in reaching this agreement, the state defendants have denied and continue to deny any fault, wrongdoing or liability on their respective parts with respect to all of the claims made against them and as part of this lawsuit. This settlement has been reached solely to avoid the uncertainties of litigation and the expenses, which have been and will be incurred in the prosecution and/or defense of this matter.”According to the settlement, the $25 million will be paid from the Indiana Tort Claims Fund.The jury’s verdict came after a 15-day trial before District Judge Rudy Lozano in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Lozano later affirmed the jury verdict after the state petitioned that it be reduced, ruling there was no reason to conclude it was excessive or unreasonable. The state subsequently appealed.The Finnegans’ daughter, Jessica, died in the family’s Francesville home in 2005, and DCS investigators suspected abuse. But even after an investigation showed the girl died due to prescribed medication that caused a fatal drug interaction with another medication she took to treat a lifelong heart condition, DCS continued to pursue false neglect substantiations against the parents.A Pulaski County judge found investigators had falsified official records to justify the false substantiations that he ruled were arbitrary and capricious. DCS’ intervention also resulted in the removal of the Finnegans’ other children, who were placed in foster care.The jury awarded compensatory damages on 22 violations of First, Fourth and 14th Amendment violations involving the Finnegans and their children. In nearly each of those, the jury found former Pulaski County DCS director Laurel Myers most liable.Jurors awarded lesser damages against Regina McAninch, a former DCS investigator and caseworker; Reba James, a regional DCS director under former director James Payne; and Jennifer McDonald, an Indiana State Police detective.Waicukauski said the $25 million settlement includes legal fees but declined to say how much of the sum will be paid to attorneys who’ve handled the matter. In 2016, four lawyers petitioned the Northern District for fees of $2.8 million. Lozano stayed the petition until the case was resolved on appeal.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Switzerland presents unchanged pension reform despite criticism

first_imgSwiss interior minister Alain Berset has published the final draft of the Altersvorsorge 2020 reform package without any major changes, despite widespread criticism of the plan within the local pensions industry.The reform plan covers the first and second-pillar pension system, including, among other things, an increase in the retirement age for women, a cut in the minimum conversion rate to 6% and a change in the calculation of contributions to the second pillar by scrapping the so-called Koordinationsabzug – the discount used to reduce contributions to Pensionskassen based on how much is already paid into the first pillar.But Swiss pension fund association ASIP warned that the failure to streamline the reform plans and “stress test them for their political suitability” might result in a no-vote against the draft.Left-of-centre political parties have criticised the increase in the pension age for women and the cut in the conversion rate, while conservative parties have called for faster, simpler reform. In a statement, Hans Peter Konrad, director at ASIP, called on Parliament not to reject the reform completely but rather take it into consideration.Parliament can then decide whether to deal with it as a whole or debate certain themes individually.Konrad argued that the reforms were “urgently necessary” and said the longer they were put off “the quicker and more painfully they will have to be implemented”.After the draft has been through Parliament, the Swiss people will have to decide on certain issues like the increase in the VAT to help fund the first-pillar fund AHV.ASIP said it hoped separate referendums would be held for various issues, so as not to include controversial proposals that do not need voters’ permission, such as the change in pensions for widows.Under Berset’s reform plan, only widows and widowers with children will be entitled to their deceased partners’ AHV pension from now on.In 2010, a cutting of the conversion rate failed, as a majority of voters opposed the measure.last_img read more

Everton coach, players, others accept wage cut, deferrals

first_imgRelatedPosts Fulham keen on Lookman loan deal Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win EPL: Calvert-Lewin treble fires Everton past West Brom Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti and a number of the first-team squad have joined senior club officials in accepting wage deferrals during the coronavirus shutdown, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale has announced.In an email being sent to Everton fans, Barrett-Baxendale said Ancelotti and his backroom staff had taken voluntary cuts and deferrals of up to 30 per cent of their salaries from the start of the crisis in mid-March. A number of first-team players have agreed their own voluntary deferrals, some of which go as high as 50 per cent of their pay packets for the next three months.Barrett-Baxendale wrote: “Everyone taking reductions and deferrals has volunteered to do so and – on behalf of the board and, I am sure, every Evertonian – I would like to express my sincere thanks to every single one of them for demonstrating such integrity and honour in helping the Everton family through this challenging time. “This remarkable show of unity has enabled the club to maintain the salaries of all Everton and Everton in the Community full and part-time employees – all of whom have remained in full employment throughout this period – and enabled the club to continue to pay its directly engaged matchday and non-matchday casual staff since our club lockdown began on 13 March.”Some of the money from the deferrals has also been used to support the club’s “Blue Family” campaign, which provides support to vulnerable people in the community.Barrett-Baxendale said the campaign’s coffers have been further boosted to the tune of 400,000 pound as hundreds of Everton season-ticket holders have opted to donate money they were due as a refund for matches they will now not be able to attend with the campaign to be completed behind closed doors.The club’s owner Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright are now planning to match that sum with their own donation. Everton are due to resume their season on June 21 with the Merseyside derby against table-topping Liverpool – a match in which Jurgen Klopp’s side could seal the title should Manchester City lose to Arsenal on June 17.With so much riding on the match, the fixture could yet be moved to a neutral venue to ensure no fans turn up outside the ground.The safety advisory group of Liverpool City Council are set to provide a decision on the game on Wednesday.Barrett-Baxendale wrote: “A lot has been said about whether our first scheduled home fixture will take place at our beloved Goodison Park.“We continue to work with our colleagues at the council and other organisations, to ensure the right decision is made for all parties and will advise you as soon as an outcome is reached. “Whilst it may go against every instinct you have as a football fan I, most respectfully, appeal to you, on behalf of the club and players, to please stay safe and stay at home to watch our games on the television – and not to consider heading to the stadium or gathering as part of a group in any other public places.”Tags: Carlo AncelottiDenise Barrett-BaxendaleEvertonlast_img read more

Officials recommend flu vaccine

first_imgThe sounds of sniffling noses and coughing echo throughout the USC campus, signaling the approach of flu season.Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the upcoming flu season is unpredictable because it changes from year to year.Hot shot · Graduate student Alfred Brown receives his flu shot at the USC Pharmacy from Katharine Tomei, a pharmaceutical student. – Dan Doperalski | Daily Trojan “It is too early to tell how severe our flu season is going to be,” Skinner said.In fact, a reappearance of the swine flu virus has not been ruled out, according to Skinner.The one vaccine that will be offered by USC this year contains, among others, the H1N1 strain, University Park Health Center Nursing Director Tammie Akiyoshi said.The flu in general is always a concern, Akiyoshi said, but after last year’s swine flu outbreak, health specialists recommend that all people six months of age or older get vaccinated.“Vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself,” Skinner said.Skinner said students living in dorms are at an increased risk of acquiring influenza type B because of their close proximity to one another. influenza type B is also included in the vaccine offered by the health center this year.The health center will start offering the flu vaccine for $25 at the beginning of October. It will also have outreach clinics on campus and will sponsor the L.A. County Department of Public Health for a flu shot day in October. The specific dates will be announced at a later date.Despite this advice, some students don’t see the necessity for vaccinations.Karen Lu, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, said she thinks she can deal with the upcoming flu season without any vaccines.“I have a really strong immune system and I believe I can handle the flu,” Lu said.Other students, such as Logan Benjamin, a sophomore majoring in music industry, are planning to tackle the issue more aggressively.Benjamin said she is going to take preventative measures this season, by taking vitamins and trying to maintain a healthy sleep schedule.Students should cover coughs and sneezes, wash their hands frequently and stay home if they are sick to prevent spreading the virus to others, Akiyoshi said.For those students with heart, lung or kidney disease, asthma or a weakened immune system, getting vaccinated is especially important, she said.last_img read more