Monday, December 24, 2012

Jacqueline Winbush awarded $575G for brutal foster-care death of son in 1998

Carlos Hutchison embraces Jackie Winbush at the funeral of her 2-year-old son. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/jacqueline-winbush-awarded-575g-brutal-foster-care-death-son-1998-article-1.136199

 

By Oren Yaniv / DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, February 5, 2011, 4:00 AM

 

The mother of a 2-year-old boy bashed to death in foster care in 1998 reached a $575,000 settlement - just before the jury hearing her lawsuit was set to see autopsy photos.

Jacqueline Winbush sued the Administration for Children's Services - as well as the now-defunct Lakeside foster agency and foster mom Linda Brisport - blaming them all for the death of her son Carlos.

Two days into the civil trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, which featured testimony about problems at the agency, Lakeside agreed to a deal.

Winbush's lawyer, John Novinsberg, said the agency knew it had to cut its losses before the horrific pictures of Carlos' battered body were put into evidence.

"If we would have put the medical examiner and the photos [in front of the jury] - it would have been a crashing blow," he added. "It's a very disturbing case."

Carlos and his siblings were put into foster care because of alleged mistreatment.

In February 1998, he joined Brisport at an all-night card game, where he played video games with other kids. His battered body was found on a sofa in the morning.

No one was ever charged with a crime. The civil suit was bogged down in delays for years.

In opening statements, Lakeside lawyer William Bellard said Brisport bore responsibility for the boy's death.

"Lakeside acknowledges there were some deficiencies, but Lakeside didn't kill this child," he said.

Early testimony focused on problems at Lakeside, including lack of training and difficulty finding appropriate foster families.

The jury was barred from hearing about three previous murders of children under Lakeside's care.

"It's a case of gross negligence, and I'm glad they're paying for it," said Novinsberg.

Bellard did not return calls after the settlement. The deal effectively absolves Brisport and ACS, which oversees foster agencies, from blame.

oyaniv@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/jacqueline-winbush-awarded-575g-brutal-foster-care-death-son-1998-article-1.136199#ixzz2FybaSZSQ