PORTLAND -- The City of Seaside and Oregon Department of Human Services are being sued for negligence over the death of a toddler, following several reports of abuse.
The 2-year-old boy died last year after his mother's boyfriend allegedly smashed his head into a toilet in a Portland motel, according to court documents.
As first reported by The Daily Astorian, a $7.5 million lawsuit has now been filed on behalf of the boy's estate, blaming DHS caseworkers and Seaside police officer Jason Goodding for failing to properly respond to earlier reports of abuse.
Joshua Howard, 28, of Astoria, was arrested and later indicted on charges of murder, murder by abuse, and criminal mistreatment.
Background: Astoria man arrested for assaulting toddler
Police arrived at the Unicorn Motel in Southeast Portland the night of March 6, 2014 and found the injured boy unconscious inside after Howard called 911, police said. One officer performed CPR until medical teams arrived. The boy was then taken to a Portland hospital, where he later died.
The lawsuit, filed by Portland attorney Josh Lamborn, contends that several reports of possible abuse dating back to 2011 were not properly investigated.
In addition, the lawsuit claims DHS failed to consider the mother's child abuse and drug history, along with her boyfriend's domestic violence history, when placing the child in their care, according to the Daily Astorian report.