Anthony J. Mohan and Leonard Z. Alpert, Attorneys at Law, for claimant.
Robert D. Pollitt, Deputy Attorney General, for respondent.


Claimant brought this action upon the death of his son, Bryan Dean
Darrah, on March 16,
1984. Bryan Darrah, age 23, was the victim of a violent act on the part
of Roy Workman, Jr., a
foster child of the Darrah family who was 14 years of age at the time of
the incident. As a result
of the violent act, Bryan Darrah lost his life.

Claimant alleges negligence on the part of the respondent. Roy Workman,
Jr., was placed with
the Darrah family in May 1970 when he was approximately two years of
age. From the age of
three to five years on, he exhibited a propensity for fabricating false
stories, for overeating, and
for stealing from other family members. His behavioral problems became
more apparent as he
grew older. Claimant alleges that social workers from the respondent
agency were aware of
Roy's behavioral problems, but that they did nothing to resolve them.
Claimant and his wife
requested psychological evaluations which were never performed.

Jean Spear, a social worker employed as a Case Worker II with
respondent and assigned to
the foster family situation for Roy Workman, Jr., testified that she
prepared a written service
plan for Roy Workman, Jr., on April 20, 1982. Under the heading "Tasks"
she wrote, "... See
about having a psychological done." Under the heading Monitor - there
was the notation, "...
Also carry through on judicial review." She admitted that she did not
discuss the need for the
psychological testing with her supervisor, Fred Kurse. However, Mr.
Kurse signed the service
plan on April 22, 1983. Mrs. Spear testified that the request for a
psychological evaluation of
Roy was made by the Darrahs in 182. She does not recall that the Darrahs
made subsequent
requests for psychological testing after October, 1982.

Frankie Darrah, mother of the deceased, testified concerning the
psychological tests. She
stated that these tests were requested by her and her husband for Roy in
April, 1982. When
queried concerning subsequent requests for the tests, she stated, "Yes.
I requested them over
the years, some kind of help for Roy." She and her husband did not have
the authority to have a
psychological evaluation performed for Roy because they were not his
legal guardians.

After carefully reviewing the evidence in this claim, the Court is of
the opinion that respondent
was not negligent in the handling of the Workman review process.
Although the foster parents did
communicate to the agency the need for psychological testing for Roy
Workman, Jr., this
communication was made in 1982, and the homicide occurred in 1984. The
Court would have
to resort to speculation to determine that had the psychological testing
and evaluation been
performed, the tests would have revealed this foster child's propensity
for violence. The
evidence herein does not establish that respondent was aware of or
should have been aware
that permitting Roy to remain in his long-term foster care setting
placed the members of the
foster family in a dangerous environment. Martha Thaxton, Admin. of the
Estate of Joseph
Philip Hancock, dec., vs. Dept. of Human Services, CC-78-263, (Opinion
issued December
3, 1987). Although the Court sympathizes with the loss experienced by
the Darrah family, the
Court finds that there was no breach of duty on the part of the
respondent, and, therefore, no
resulting negligence. This claim must be, and is hereby, denied.

Claim disallowed.