Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marissa Amora Gets Short Changed

I have written about the tragic Marissa Amora story here, here, here and here. Marissa was badly beaten by her biological mother's boyfriend. Her collarbone was broken and she was hospitalized for a month.

Marissa's mother could offer no explanation for the little girl's broken collarbone.

A DCF child abuse investigator testified at trial she was concerned that Marissa's mom ''was more interested in getting her boyfriend out of jail'' than picking up her own child.

The mother, the investigator said, rarely visited the girl during her monthlong hospitalization, ''and when the mother did come to the hospital the child would cry and the mother spanked the child in her hospital bed,'' the appeals court wrote.

The shocker is that the Department of Children and Families placed Marissa back in the custody of her mother. Marissa was beaten again. Marissa's suffered internal organ damage and bleeding to the brain. She is only capable of speaking a few words. Marissa's adoptive mother Dawn Amora won a $26.8 million lawsuit against the state. Jeb Bush stonewalled and appealed. Incoming DCF Sec. Bob Butterworth reversed the decision.

The Florida legislature award Marissa only $1.2 million of the settlement.

Nine-year-old Marissa Amora would get only $1.2 million from the state. Legislators said a tight budget year is the reason for the reduced amount.

The Department of Children and Families has promised to increase the amount to $18.2 million over 10 years, payments that would have to be put in the state's budget each year.

Dawn Amora left a comment explaining Marissa's medical expenses and the legal fight.

Thank you Michael. We want a trust/annuity set up for her and will continue to fight. This is just plain disgraceful.
Her adoptive mom. Dawn
No disrespect to the Andersons, however we went through the legal process, both by Grand Jury, Civil Jury and two appelate courts. This has been going on for six years and we are being crushed financially as more and more attorneys make money off of my daughter's blood.

Future payments are not guaranteed. High-valued disability settlements against the state must be approved by the legislature. Whoever had the great idea that the legislature can trump the will of public juries is an idiot.

The Palm Beach Post has a video story on Marissa and Dawn.

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