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Foster Kids Abused in Horrific New York Case Settle for $9.7 Million


Disclaimer: Most cases result in a lower recovery. Results may not be typical and reflect awards before deduction for attorneys’ fees and expenses. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.

Foster child abuse attorney Howard Talenfeld represented several former-foster kids who settled with the city of New York in December 2012. The city agreed to pay $9.7 million to settle the lawsuit. The money will help the former foster kids, some of whom were destitute and homeless at the time of the settlement.

Judith Leekin made a science of gaming the foster care system and abusing foster kids in her care – all 10 of them. The New York woman welcomed into her home foster kids – and the public assistance stipend that came along with them. Once kids were in her home, they were subjected to years of torture, abuse and mistreatment. This was in addition to the existing disabilities that several of the children suffered. Leekin restrained the children with plastic ties and handcuffs, beat them with sticks and hangers – and personally lived a lavish lifestyle.

Eventually, Leekin moved from New York and resettled in Central Florida with 10 of the children who are now in their 20s in 30s. Soon, stories emerged of their imprisonment, abuse, lack of medical care and hygiene, and seclusion. In all, Leekin fraudulently collected some $1.65 million in adoption subsidies from the city.

In 2007, Leekin was arrested and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The former foster kids who had in effect lost their childhood filed suit, claiming New York’s Administration for Children’s Services did not effectively provide for their care.

Renowned foster child abuse attorney Howard Talenfeld led a team representing several of the former-foster kids in December 2012. They settled with the City of New York, which agreed to pay $9.7 million to settle the lawsuit. The money will help the former foster kids, some of whom were destitute and homeless at the time of the settlement.

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