WEST UNION — An aunt and two minors are suing a West Virginia government agency, alleging neglect of duty, failure to protect and negligence.

M.R. and B.R., by and through their legal guardian Mercy Padgett, filed a lawsuit Sept. 12 in Doddridge Circuit Court against the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, alleging failure to provide government assistance since the children were under a de facto custodian.

According to the complaint, between June 2014 and September 2015, M.R. and B.R., minor children, remained in the custody of their de facto custodian, Michael Britton, a man who had a previous relationship with their mother. The suit says Britton physically, mentally and/or sexually abused the children. 

The plaintiffs allege that despite its awareness that the children had been abandoned by their parents, the defendant failed to undertake an investigation as to the safety and well-being of the children and failed to notify Child Protective Services.

The plaintiffs seek trial by jury, compensatory damages, general damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and all other relief. They are represented by attorneys David E. Goddard and Edmund L. Wagoner of Goddard & Wagoner PLLC in Clarksburg.

Doddridge Circuit Court Case number 16--c-49

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Doddridge Circuit Court
118 East Court Street West Union, WV 26456

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