Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman sues in child's foster home death

TAMPA — A woman whose disabled daughter died two years ago in foster care has filed a wrongful death claim against the agencies and a foster mother involved in her child's care.

Rikka R. Pinckney, born with Down's syndrome, died of a heart attack on June 30, 2006, after a 14-year-old girl in her foster home bit her 13 times and then smothered her with a pillow. Rikka was 11.

The foster mother, Delores Wilson, was cleared by law enforcement of child neglect but lost her foster parent license.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Pinckney's mother, Vernette Pritchett, alleged that the Florida Department of Children and Families and Hillsborough Kids Inc. gave Wilson a Florida license despite knowing that her foster care license in Alabama was being suspended because she failed to meet requirements.

The lawsuit says Wilson cared for more foster children than her license permitted and allowed children with a history of physical and sexual aggression to sleep in the same room as other foster children.

The agencies jeopardized Rikka's health and safety by placing her in Wilson's home and failed to provide proper oversight of her care, the lawsuit said.

Wilson and a DCF spokesman could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Wilson has pushed for reforms in the state's foster care system. She told officials at a public meeting last year that authorities never told her about the 14-year-old's violent past before the teen was placed with her.

Woman sues in child's foster home death 07/01/08 [Last modified: Sunday, July 6, 2008 1:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law

    National

    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  2. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot

    News

    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  3. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  4. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  5. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.