Nearly two years after a 12-year-old foster child allegedly torched at least five cars and went on a destructive rampage, one Plainfield couple wants the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services to pay.
The couple, Lisa and Joseph Morris, filed the lawsuit against DCFS in Will County court.
The suit also names department director Richard Calica, DCFS employee Jean Ortega-Pirone and the boy's foster parents as defendants. The lawsuit does not identify the child or his foster parents, but does accuse them of being "incapable of monitoring and supervising" the boy. The lawsuit also said the foster parents allowed the child to "go in and out of the foster home as he pleased."
The suit claims the boy had "violent and destructive tendencies," and that Ortega-Pirone failed to communicate this to the foster parents.
The boy was reportedly living with a foster family in the Hazelwood Drive neighborhood when a string of fires were set between Christmas 2011 and Jan. 8, 2012. The alleged firebug's reign of terror ended when a detective caught him breaking into a car, police said.
After he was apprehended, the child explained he torched the cars to “see how big the fires would get," police said. He was charged as a juvenile with arson, burglary to a motor vehicle and criminal damage to property.
The Morrises' insurance company, American Family Mutual Insurance, paid $54,906.53 to make up for the boy's arson and vandalism, the lawsuit said. The Morrises paid $1,500 in deductibles, the suit said.
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