$45 MILLION FOR LATE TODDLER'S ESTATE
This week we are highlighting one of the most significant cases our firm has ever taken on.
In 2018, we won a case on behalf of the estate of the late toddler, Lavandis Hudson, who was murdered by his own mother after being released into her care by the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. The Cook County jury awarded $45 million to his estate after less than three hours of deliberations.
In June of 2011, two-year-old Lavandis Hudson was hospitalized for injuries he sustained due to physical abuse caused by his biological mother, Marles Blackman. After recovering from those injuries, Lavandis was released back into Blackman’s care by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), a nonprofit company under contract with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) to provide Lavandis with care. On July 21st of that year, Lavandis died, murdered by his own mother.
Our investigation revealed that LSSI was aware of Blackman’s significant drug abuse and violence history. In addition to her acts of abuse against Lavandis himself, she had faced multiple battery and assault charges and had previously set her disabled brother on fire. Furthermore, according to our expert witnesses and the company’s own admissions, we found that LSSI had committed over 130 violations of DCFS regulations.
Deratany & Kosner argued that LSSI had caused Lavandis’ death by failing to provide therapy services, drug reviews, and home visits, which would have led to a different outcome than the negligent return of Lavandis to his biological mother’s care, following an act of abuse.