“In the sequel to the costliest-ever liability lawsuit against Orange County, a federal appellate court has affirmed that the county once again is not immune from liability for a 2000 incident in which a woman alleges that two social workers committed perjury to separate her from her mom when she was a young girl.
The ruling issued Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is based on the same events that caused a jury to award Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick $9.6 million from Orange County in 2011 after she alleged that social workers used fabricated evidence to cause a court to remove her two daughters from her custody for six and a half years.
Now, Fogarty-Hardwick’s daughter, Preslie Hardwick, who was one of the two girls separated from her mom, also is suing the county. And while the appellate court’s ruling does not address the merits of Hardwick’s complaint, it suggests the county could be on the hook to pay out once again.”