CHARLESTON – A Hampshire County woman is suing West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources after she claims it failed to investigate reports that she was being abused for three years.
In 1998, Briana Reel was an infant and was removed from her parents home because of abuse and neglect and was placed with her aunt and uncle, according to a complaint filed Oct. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Reel claims between 2010 and 2013, the defendant received a plethora of reports that Reel was in imminent danger and endured abuse while under her aunt and uncle’s care.
The DHHR and its employees did nothing, even after independent, credible sources made numerous reports, according to the suit.
Reel claims she was in imminent danger and there was no appropriate or available safety responses that would allow her to remain in the home safely, however, the DHHR did nothing to protect her and she endured the years of sexual assault, molestation, rape and beatings while in the care of her aunt and uncle.
On June 6, Reel’s uncle pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual abuse in Grant Circuit Court, according to the suit.
Reel claims the defendant was negligent in failing to investigate the reports and breached its duty owed to her.
Reel is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by Christopher T. Pritt and Kelly C. Pritt Pritt & Pritt.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 16-C-1540