New Jersey Law Journal Recognizes Partner Paul M. da Costa’s $2.6 Million Wrongful Death Settlement in Its Annual “Top 20 Personal Injury Awards of the Year” Special Section
On August 29, 2016, the New Jersey Law Journal published its annual “Top 20 Personal Injury Awards of the Year” special section, which identifies the largest reported personal injury awards for the year. Partner Paul M. da Costa’s $2.6 million settlement in a wrongful death case on behalf of a seven-year old’s estate was highlighted in the “Eleven More Awards Worth Noting” sub-section. The $2.6 million settlement was one of the thirty largest settlements or jury verdict awards for the period of August 22, 2015 and August 19, 2016. In addition, the settlement was the ninth largest settlement or verdict award of any wrongful death case in the same time period. The $2.6 million settlement was paid by the State of New Jersey on behalf of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (“DCPP”) (formerly known as “DYFS) insofar as DCPP and its employees failed to recognize the danger that the seven-year old boy was facing by not being removed from the custody of his mother. The suit alleged that child welfare workers received thirty-two reports of alleged child abuse and/or neglect over a ten-year period leading up to the death of the decedent. Paul alleged that DCPP and its employees were negligent because they viewed each of the allegations in a vacuum, as opposed to appreciating the pattern of allegations. The suit asserted that had the seven-year old boy been removed from his mother’s custody, he would not have perished in a house fire at his mother’s home.