Father blames DHHR for son’s abuse from biological parents

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 14, 2016

CHARLESTON – A father is suing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources after he claims his adoptive son was abused by his biological parents.

Second Chances WV LLC was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Corey Cecil was born on Dec. 23, 2013, at Princeton Community Hospital to Billy White and Christina Bolin and was formerly named Corey White, according to a complaint filed Oct. 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Woodrow Cecil claims Corey Cecil’s biological parents had their rights involuntarily terminated from their three other children on July 23, 2013, and that the day before his birth, the DHHR removed him from Bolin’s care. At the time of his birth, White was incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail.

In January 2014, the DHHR and the guardian ad litem assigned to Corey Cecil’s abuse and neglect case requested that the circuit court return him to Bolin’s care, which was granted with certain conditions and restrictions, according to the suit.

Woodrow Cecil claims one of the conditions was that there was to be no unsupervised contact between Corey Cecil and White and, on April 1, 2014, White was released from jail and moved in with Bolin and Corey Cecil in Mercer County.

On at least two occasions prior to May 30, 2014, Corey Cecil was physically abused by White, and, on that day, he was taken to the hospital via ambulance, where he was unresponsive and in respiratory failure, according to the suit.

Woodrow Cecil claims diagnostic imaging at Charleston Area Medical Center identified multiple intracranial hemorrhages and bilateral retinal hemorrhages that suggested the hemorrhages were of different ages, indicating he had been physically abused on multiple occasions.

On Oct. 6, 2015, Corey Cecil was adopted by Woodrow Cecil and Teresa Cecil, according to the suit.

Woodrow Cecil claims that Corey Cecil was in the legal and physical custody of the state and was placed with his biological mother upon recommendation of the DHHR.

Second Chances was also negligent by failing to supervise, monitor and protect Corey Cecil while he was under the care of his biological mother and failed to remove him from the home when it and the DHHR knew or should have known that unsupervised contact between Corey Cecil and his biological father was ongoing, in violation of the conditions placed upon Bolin by the DHHR and Mercer Circuit Court, according to the suit.

Woodrow Cecil is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. He is being represented by Ben Salango of Preston & Salango; W. Kent Carper of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; and William O. Huffman.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-1601

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Organizations in this Story

Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC Kanawha Circuit Court West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

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