DHR, former foster parents hit with 3 new lawsuits in child abuse case

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 8:57 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama’s Department of Human Resources is now facing three more lawsuits in a horrific child abuse case from the Shoals.

A total of seven victims are suing DHR and its commissioner for a total of $175 million.

Daniel Spurgeon has served almost a year of his 25-year sentence for sexually assaulting his foster children

His wife, Jenise, is still awaiting trial after coronavirus pushed back her April 11 date.

But amid coronavirus and constant change, attorney Tommy James says that his now seven clients just want justice.

“They want the state to take responsibility for what has happened,” said James.

The lawsuits allege that DHR and its employees did not properly investigate numerous claims of abuse made against the Spurgeons.

Originally James was representing four clients, but as of Wednesday, he is now representing seven clients who are asking for $25 million each in damages.

But he says justice for them is at a standstill

“If the state and the lawyers that work for the state do the right thing, we can get to the bottom line here and find out what happened rather than dodge, delay, and deny everything that we do. Their appealing issues to the supreme court on my cases that they’ve never done. They are doing everything they can to delay this while my clients suffered unimaginably at the hands of the Sprugeons because the DHR didn’t do their jobs,” said James.

James says bringing awareness to this suffering and abuse is why he and his clients are continuing to fight.

“They want to send a message to DHR that this kind of conduct is not going to be tolerated and they don’t want it to happen to any other children again,” said James.

The lawsuit names the Spurgeons, DHR, Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner, and any DHR worker who overlooked the warning signs.

“Our children aren’t being protected. DHR isn’t doing their job and it’s time for them to be held accountable,” said James.

We did reach out to the Department of Human Resources for a statement or interview on this story.

We were told “no comment.”

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