FRESNO (AP) -- A Fresno County judge says a jury improperly placed the lion’s share of the blame for a boy’s beating death at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend on social workers who investigated abuse allegations but did not remove the boy from his home.
Superior Court Judge Bruce Smith on Friday said he planned to convene a new jury to review an earlier panel’s decision to find the county liable for $5.5 million of the $8.5 million it awarded to the boy’s father and step-brother in their wrongful death lawsuit.
The judge questioned whether the county should bear any financial responsibility for the 2009 death of 10-year-old Seth Ireland.
The boyfriend, LeBaron Vaughn, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. The boy’s mother, Rena Ireland was sentenced to six years.