Couple sues DHHR for misrepresenting child’s medical history

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 19, 2016

CHARLESTON – A couple is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources after they claim it failed to inform them of the medical history of a child they adopted.

An unknown and unnamed employee was also named as a defendant in the suit.

G.B., a minor, endured sexual abuse by his minor sibling, C.B., which the DHHR could have prevented if it had not concealed data, according to a complaint filed July 25 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Jessica Bolen and Clayton Bolen claim the DHHR concealed acts of prior sexually abusive behavior of C.B. and, as the plaintiffs were unaware of C.B.’s past, completed their adoption of C.B. and G.B.

Had the defendants exercised due care a followed clearly established law, the minor plaintiff would not have been sexually abused post-adoption by C.B., nor would the adult plaintiffs have adopted C.B., according to the suit.

The Bolens claim as a result of the defendants’ misrepresentations, both fraudulent and negligent, the adult plaintiffs were deprived the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether or not to adopt C.B. and incurred the costs of arising from and related to the adoption of C.B.

The plaintiffs were deprived of an accurate medical history concerning C.B. due to the negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations of the defendants and did not conclusively become aware of relevant facts concerning the pre-adoption sexual abuses of C.B. and sexual abuses visited by C.B. upon G.B., according to the suit.

The Bolens are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Michael A. Woelfel of Woelfel & Woelfel.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-1127

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