A lawsuit over the near-fatal starving of an Everett boy has been settled for $6 million, with much of that money to be paid by the state of Washington.
The settlement reached on behalf of Shayne Abegg, 6, is the largest the state Department of Social and Health Services has ever agreed to pay
for a single child victim.
David P. Moody, Shayne's Seattle lawyer, alleged state caseworkers failed to protect the boy despite numerous warnings the boy was being abused and neglected. DSHS workers didn't adequately investigate reports that Shayne was being starved.
A state Department of Social and Health Services review of the boy's case concluded that the state missed a pattern of abuse and neglect, didn't follow policy to make sure Shayne was safe and failed to hold his father, his girlfriend and the boy's mother more accountable for the boy's well-being.
Some social workers involved in Shayne's case have since resigned.
DSHS also has made changes to address the issues found in the state-ordered review, including taking steps to make sure more experienced supervisors oversee these types of cases and social workers get training to help recognize the signs of malnutrition. The state has reconfigured some staff to decrease caseloads.
Doctors believe Shayne will suffer from long-term developmental and cognitive problems as a result of his trauma. Any money awarded to Shayne would be put in a trust fund that will be monitored by the court.