Relatives of toddler beaten to death file lawsuit against city
Relatives of a toddler who was beaten to death in 2016 have filed a lawsuit against the city that claims the Administration for Children's Services is partly to blame.
Jaden Jordan was 3 years old when he was rushed to the hospital in November 2016 with severe injuries. He was pronounced dead after being in a coma for five days.
Salvatore Lucchesse, the boyfriend of Jordan's mother, was taking care of the boy when he was injured. Lucchesse was arrested and charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. His trial is set to start this summer.
Jordan's biological father, Guseyn Aliyed, says he never met Lucchesse or lived at the house. He told News 12 that the boy's death could have been prevented.
A 2017 Department of Investigation report found that ACS had been called to the house where Jordan lived the weekend before the incident happened. But they had the wrong address and the weekend staff -- part of the Emergency Children's Services Unit -- was never trained on how to access databases that could have helped.
The father and lawyer say they're looking for financial compensation from the city and a change in protocol to prevent future similar incidents.
"ACS takes these matters seriously but will not comment while litigation is pending," a spokesperson said in a statement. "The legal matter has been referred to the law department for review."
The ACS also says it has already made changes as a direct result of the DOI report. It has a new pilot program that flags the highest risk for cases for follow-up, has created and filled almost 40 new jobs for employees trained on database usage and has upped the minimum salary for child protective managers in the emergency unit.
The father's lawyer says the city has 90 days to do its own interviews with Jordan's parents. Once that period ends, the suit will move forward, with a trial not likely to start until next year.