Stoneleigh Fellow Steve Volk authored an article for Billy Penn examining a new initiative by some Pennsylvania lawmakers to cap damage awards for child welfare-involved youth.
At a Pa. House legislative committee hearing this January, attorney Nadeem Bezar introduced lawmakers to some kids he has represented in court.
He started with a boy shaken so badly in his infancy that he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Then he talked about a second boy, submerged in boiling hot water till the skin sloughed off his body. Then a girl who was held down and burned with an iron, her skin contracting so severely that she still has difficulty walking.
Bezar mentioned each of these kids and more in his opening remarks, arguing against newly proposed legislation that would cap the damage awards that nonprofit child welfare agencies could be liable for in physical abuse cases at $500,000, a number he stated would be insufficient to cover the lifetime’s worth of medical and mental health bills these kids will face.