Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers have followed the tragic news stories about the deaths of Georgia children and accusations that the state government is not doing enough to prevent these deaths and protect vulnerable children.
Twelve year old Eric Forbes died in October with signs of serious child abuse. His father, Shayaa Yusef Forbes, called the police, who came and found the boy bobbing in a bathtub unconscious in Paulding County. His father said he thought Eric was taking a bath and was only a “little bit underwater”, but the sixth grader from McClure Middle School had drowned. Georgia’s Department of Family and Child Services (DFCS) had investigated Eric’s case, but the claims of abuse were dismissed due to lack of evidence. Not long after and only 60 miles away, Emani Moss’s father called the police who found the 10 year old’s body burned in a trash can after she had already been dead several days. Officials determined she died of starvation and arrested her father, Eman Moss, and stepmother, Tiffany Moss. There were also allegations of abuse, but Emani was also allowed to remain at home. DFCS is investigating the cases. The agency issued a statement saying, “We are already moving forward with plans to tailor training for our case workers based on data that would predict trends in our practice, and we will soon implement internal ‘safety roundtables,’ which will serve to review cases at the state level before workers can screen them out or close an investigation.”
But Emani’s grandmother doesn’t think this is enough. In November, Robin Moss served Georgia DFCS with a 90 day notice of a wrongful death claim. She holds DFCS responsible for Emani’s death because they investigated the abusive situation but never took Emani away from it. This kind of lawsuit against DFCS is not only about money, which cannot replace Robin Moss’s granddaughter’s life, but is used as a way to try to force DFCS into action so that other children don’t suffer the way Emani, and also Eric, did. This lawsuit will allow Ms. Moss to investigate DFCS, including by subpoenaing files and interviewing employees under oath. It could shine a light on the inner workings of DFCS and see if there were more tragedies like Emani’s. Her attorney is seeking employees to come forward with information on whether DFCS falsified reports related to child abuse.