LOS ANGELES (AP) — The father and siblings of a 10-year-old who died after allegedly being tortured and abused has sued Los Angeles County’s child welfare agency for $50 million, saying it failed to protect him.
Anthony Avalos of Lancaster died last year. His mother, Heather Barron, and her boyfriend, Kareem Leiva, have pleaded not guilty to torture and murder.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles. It alleges that the county Department of Children and Family Services and one of its contractors ignored years of reports of suspected violence, sexual abuse and neglect involving the boy and his siblings.
The department declined to comment in a statement to the Los Angeles Times but said it had an “unwavering commitment to pursue child safety.”