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Waltham Woman Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Massachusetts DCF Over Toddler’s Fatal Abuse

Andrea Rizzitano is suing the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for the wrongful death of her great-nephew. In her lawsuit, the Waltham woman says the state agency failed to protect Kadyn, 13 months, from his mother, who later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of the boy.

Autopsy results indicate that the child died from blunt-force trauma. He also suffered from contusions of the liver, stomach, and colon, as well as internal bleeding.

Rizzitano claims that the DCF repeatedly disregarded warnings that Kadyn’s mother, Christina Hancock, was neglecting and abusing the child. Just two months before his death the boy was admitted to the ER wit a broken arm. A doctor even filed a 51A complaint alleging abuse. While the child was temporarily removed from his home, he was eventually returned to his mother.

Rizzitano contends that the DCF knew Hancock could not properly care for the boy but did not act to keep him safe. The wrongful death lawsuit comes just as Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is thinking about conducting an independent probe of the state agency.

The DCF is under scrutiny over the unexplained disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver, 5, who agency workers are accused of not checking on for five months. State officials are accusing the agency failing to follow-up on the child despite reports of abuse, including three 51A reports. A supervisor is accused of covering up these failures, while another reportedly went along with the oversight.

Oliver is now presumed dead. His mom’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Alberto Sierra, Jr., is charged with two counts of assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The child’s mother, 28-year-old Elsa Oliver is charged with serving as an accessory after the fact.

Boston Personal Injury
If you believe your child was the victim of abuse, you may have reason for pursuing a Boston personal injury case on his/her behalf against the abuser, as well as any other parties that allowed the abuse to happen or failed to prevent it even though they could/should have done so. In Massachusetts, contact our Boston injury law firm today.

Filing 51A Reports, Mass.gov

Jeremiah Oliver case: Public still wondering how this could have happened, Telegram.com, January 5, 2014

Lawsuit claims DCF at fault in Acton toddler’s 2010 death, Lowell Sun, January 9, 2014

More Blog Posts:
Ex-New England Patriots Player Aaron Hernandez is Sued in Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Boston Injury Lawyers Blog, December 23, 2013

Logan Airport Employee Fatally Injured While Working on Tarmac, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2014
Bicyclist Fatally Injured in Springfield, MA Hit-and-Run Accident, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 3, 2014