Appeals Court Allows Lawsuit In Child's Death

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit alleging that a Kansas social worker's inaction led to the beating death of a 23-month-old girl.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Wednesday reversed a ruling by a Kansas court throwing out the lawsuit against Linda Gillen. She no longer works for the Kansas social services agency but the state is defending her in court.

The maternal grandparents of Brooklyn Coons of Coffeyville allege in the lawsuit that Gillen intentionally ignored their complaints about their granddaughter's care. The girl was beaten to death in January 2008. Her father's girlfriend, Melissa Wells, was convicted of murdering the girl.

The appeals court said the remaining issue is whether Gillen intentionally failed to act on the grandparents' complaints.

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