Suit: Baby Died After Foster Agency Returned Him to Abusive Mother

Suit claims Lutheran Social Services of Illinois helped mother get baby back despite bruises and mysterious injuries

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    The father of a two-year-old boy who allegedly died after authorities said his mother beat him is suing a foster care placement organization for giving the boy back to his mom.

    Herbert Hudson claims his son was born with cocaine in his system and was immediately taken into protective custody—but a few months later Lutheran Social Services of Illinois returned him to his mother, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court. The boy died just under a year later of “multiple blunt force injuries as a result of child abuse,” the suit claims, and his mother was charged in his death.

    The suit claims Lutheran Social Services of Illinois helped the baby’s mother get him back a second time, after he had been taken to the hospital with some mysterious injuries. Medical records from his visit indicated the baby appeared “to be battered, bruises on the face and body not consistent with a single fall [off] the bed,” as the mother claimed, according to the suit.

    Still, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois recommended the boy be returned to her, the suit said.

    Less than a month later the baby was taken to the emergency room and subsequently airlifted to Advocate Hope Children’s Center in Oak Lawn, where he was declared brain dead, the suit claims.

    The four-count suit claims negligence on the part of the foster care agency, in addition to violations of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services guidelines. Hudson seeks more than $200,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.

    A spokesperson for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois could not be reached for comment Friday night.