The state and three other parties have agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of a boy who was intentionally starved by his father and the man's girlfriend.
The settlement, reached during mediation, stemmed from the case of Shayne Abegg, who weighed only 22 pounds at age 4 when authorities rescued him on March 7, 2007, from his Everett home. A year earlier, when Shayne came to live with his father, he had weighed 38 pounds.
Under the settlement, which requires approval by a judge, the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) agreed to pay $5 million, with the remainder to be split between state-contracted therapist Brad Simkins and two social-service agencies that hired him.
The boy, through his guardian, originally sought $22 million in a tort claim filed with the state.
The lawsuit, filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, alleged DSHS, Simkins and the others failed to protect Shayne, who couldn't sit or walk when he was found. In addition, the boy's temperature had reached the dangerously low level of 87 degrees and his muscles were wasting.
The settlement comes at a time when state legislators are considering privatizing some social services to fix what critics call a broken child-welfare system. The Children's Administration, which is part of DSHS, has been plagued by problems for years, including dozens of child fatalities.
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$6M settlement for starved Everett boy