Catholic Charities Found Partially Negligent in 2017 Death of 5-Year-Old Ohio Boy

Catholic Charities found partially negligent in 5-year-old's death, ordered to pay $960,000. Highlights importance of proper oversight and training for caseworkers protecting vulnerable children.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Catholic Charities Found Partially Negligent in 2017 Death of 5-Year-Old Ohio Boy

Catholic Charities Found Partially Negligent in 2017 Death of 5-Year-Old Ohio Boy

A jury in Cuyahoga County, Ohio has found Catholic Charities Corporation partially negligent in the 2017 wrongful death of 5-year-old Jordan Rodriguez, a developmentally disabled boy who was unable to speak. The organization was ordered to pay $960,000 into the boy's estate.

Rodriguez's body was discovered buried in his mother's backyard in 2017. He had been under the supervision of Catholic Charities caseworker Nancy Caraballo at the time of his death. The lawsuit argued that Catholic Charities failed to adequately train and supervise Caraballo, leading to false reports about the boy's well-being and ultimately his death.

Why this matters: This case highlights the critical importance of proper oversight and training for caseworkers entrusted with protecting vulnerable children. The tragic death of Jordan Rodriguez raises questions about the accountability of organizations responsible for child welfare services.

Caraballo had been assigned to Rodriguez's case but falsified reports and took bribes instead of properly checking on the child. She had previously pleaded guilty to charges related to a food stamp scheme and was sentenced to 3 years in prison, though she only served 8 months. Caraballo was ordered to pay $240,000 in the wrongful death suit.

Catholic Charities has been prohibited from commenting on the matter due to a gag order. There is still the possibility of additional punitive damages, with a court date set for next week to determine if they will be awarded.

The jury found Catholic Charities 8% negligent in Rodriguez's death. "The loss of a child is a parent's worst nightmare, but for Jordan it was a reality," said the family's attorney in a statement following the verdict. The organization now faces scrutiny over its practices and oversight of caseworkers tasked with protecting at-risk children.

Key Takeaways

  • Jury found Catholic Charities partially negligent in 5-year-old's 2017 death.
  • Catholic Charities ordered to pay $960,000 into the boy's estate.
  • Caseworker Nancy Caraballo falsified reports and took bribes, jailed for 8 months.
  • Caraballo ordered to pay $240,000 in the wrongful death suit.
  • Catholic Charities faces scrutiny over caseworker oversight and child welfare practices.