On September 11, 2015, Evans Moore, on behalf of the guardian and grandmother of a seven year old child, filed suit in Florence County against the South Carolina Department of Social Service (“DSS”). The Complaint alleges the minor child, who was between the ages of three and four during the time period in question, was subjected to repeated physical and sexual assaults while under the care of the DSS.
The grandmother, and now legal guardian, contacted DSS on multiple occasions with concerns about the child’s safety and well-being. Specifically, she informed the DSS caseworkers assigned to the child’s case that he was living in filth, with no heat or running water, and with eight known drug abusers with drug convictions and/or pending drug charges in Florence County. Although DSS assured her that it had an active case file, the Complaint alleges that no attempts were made to investigate the situation or to remove the minor child from the abusive environment.
After multiple calls to DSS, Florence County Sheriff’s Department, and City of Florence Police Department, the minor’s case was assigned to a third caseworker who reassessed the allegations. It was determined in short order by the replacement caseworker that the minor child had been the victim of neglect, physical abuse, and sexual assault. The neglect, physical abuse, and sexual assault occurred between May of 2011 and August of 2011, the time period that the minor’s grandmother, and now guardian, was actively reporting the abuse to DSS and pleading for its intervention. The child was immediately removed from the household and has since been under the care of multiple medical providers and counselors. On July 9, 2012, the grandmother was granted custody of minor child by the Family Court for Florence County, South Carolina.
The attorneys of Evans Moore are proud to stand up and fight on behalf of those who are unable to defend themselves. If you would like more information on this case or if we can be of any assistance to you, please contact us at (843) 995-5000.
On September 1, 2015, attorneys James B. Moore III and Scott C. Evans recovered a $375,000 settlement from a convenience store operator in connection with its employee filing a false police report resulting in their client being arrested and wrongfully imprisoned for 8 hours at a local detention center. The lawsuit was filed in February of 2014 alleging negligence, malicious prosecution, and false arrest. The convenience store operator and employee denied all responsibility. After successfully arguing pre-trial motions and selecting a jury, the company paid $375,000 in exchange for a dismissal of all claims.
On August 26, 2015, a Greenville County jury awarded $375,000 to a worker who was injured while driving a business-owned vehicle on Interstate 85.
Their client, Paulino Camacaro, had been driving a vehicle owned by his employer, a painting company, when he was sideswiped on Interstate 85 in Greenville while heading to his home in Atlanta. Mr. Camacaro sustained a herniated disc and lost his painting job of 18 years after the crash. At the time of trial, he had accrued $41,000 in medical bills, which did not include a back surgery that his doctors recommended.
Throughout the course of the trial, defense argued that the Plaintiff’s back injuries were preexisting. The Defendant’s highest pretrial offer was $60,000.
On June 25, 2015, the attorneys of Evans Moore, Scott Evans and James “Boo” Moore, were interviewed for an upcoming documentary produced by non-profit Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., which highlights the crisis facing the mentally ill in South Carolina’s state prison system.
Evans Moore were approached for this interview due to their successful track record of litigating civil cases on behalf of individuals and their families who have needlessly suffered from neglect, abuse, and mistreatment within the South Carolina Department of Corrections. During this interview, Scott and James engage in candid discussions regarding the effects of the deficit of mental health services within our State’s prison system on the lives of inmates, their families, and its impact on the citizens of our great state.
The documentary, slated for release in fall 2016, will also bring light to Circuit Judge Michael Baxley’s recent ruling in the class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections, T.R., P.R., K.W., et al. v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, et al.
The class action suit, filed in June 2005 by Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. on behalf of inmates with serious mental health needs, alleges inadequate mental health treatment for prisoners held statewide by the S.C. Department of Corrections. The lawsuit did not seek financial damages; rather, it charged the court with requiring the department to design and maintain a program that provides adequate treatment of inmates with mental illness.
In his Order dated January 8, 2014, Judge Baxley opined that this case was the “most troubling” of the 70,000 cases to come before him in the past 14 years. “The evidence in this case has proved that inmates have died in the South Carolina Department of Corrections for lack of basic mental health care, and hundreds more remain substantially at risk for serious physical injury, mental decompensation, and profound, permanent mental illness. As a society, and as citizen jurors and judges make decisions that send people to prison, we have the reasonable expectation that those in prison – even though it is prison – will have their basic health needs met by the state that imprisons them. And this includes mental health. The evidence in this case has shown that expectation to be misplaced in many instances,” Baxley wrote.
South Carolina houses some 23,000 inmates, with more than 3,000 inmates with serious mental illness diagnoses (SCDC data as of June 30, 2011).
The Judge noted that providing mental health services to inmates has significance beyond the prison walls. “What happens at the Department of Corrections impacts all of us, whether it is from the discharge of untreated seriously mentally ill individuals from prison into the general population, or tremendously increased costs for treatment and care that might have been prevented, or the needless increase in human suffering when use of force replaces medical care. The decisions of our Courts reflect the values of our society. To that end, our state can no longer tolerate a mental health system at the South Carolina Department of Corrections that has broken down due to lack of finances and focus,” he wrote.
The Judge’s order requires the corrections department to remedy constitutional violations by submitting a remedial plan within six months to include: development of screening and mental health treatment programs; a plan to employ sufficient mental health professionals; a plan to maintain treatment records and administer psychotropic medication with appropriate supervision and periodic evaluation; and a program to identify, treat, and supervise inmates at risk for suicide.
For more information on cases handled by Evans Moore, the Protection and Advocacy Class Action, and a copy of the Order, please visit http://www.mentalhealth4inmates.org.
Scott C. Evans and James B. Moore III announce the Grand Opening of Evans Moore, LLC on June 1, 2015. Scott Evans and James Moore began litigating cases as a team in 2010. Since that point, Scott Evans and James Moore have litigated a unique group of cases that have led to such things as the invalidation of a South Carolina city ordinance pursuant to the United States Constitution, the successful argument a Fourth Circuit Appeal held before the entire University of South Carolina School of Law, and the successful resolution of a civil rights case that was followed by the national media. Evans Moore, LLC was founded to continue the tradition of working as a team to serve residents and businesses throughout the state of South Carolina.
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