Court reinstates RI foster care lawsuit

Providence, R.I. – A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit alleging widespread abuse and neglect of Rhode Island's foster children.

The decision Friday from the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a trial judge's decision to dismiss the case.

The lawsuit filed in 2007 by Rhode Island's child advocate said children in foster care were routinely abused, neglected and shuffled from home to home. Because they were minors, the children were assigned adult guardians to represent their interests in the lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux dismissed the case last year, saying the adults weren't close enough to the children to adequately serve their interests. The 1st Circuit overturned that opinion Friday, allowing the case to move forward.

The lawsuit was brought against the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.