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Attorney files negligence claim against DHS

Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 23:37:21-04

The grandparents of a toddler found dead in a south Tulsa home are holding the Department of Human Services accountable.

Micheal Rigney’s grandparents have taken the first step to filing a lawsuit. They sent DHS a governmental tort claims notice asking for $5 million on behalf of their grandson.

"We just want truth and want answers, and we want justice for our grandbaby," says Michael’s grandmother, Cindy Rigney.

One month ago today, 2-year-old Micheal was found dead in his home. His mother, Tina Morgan Taylor, and Stepfather, Branden Taylor, are both behind bars tonight. The stepfather is charged with child abuse murder while the mother faces child neglect. A booking report states Micheal was kicked in the head and knocked unconscious.

In a previous interview with 2 Works For You, Micheal's grandparents were grieving their loss. Tonight, they're fighting to make a difference inside DHS.

"What we're pursuing at this point…we have information that's been supplied to us that we believe that DHS was negligent in handling the matters that were going on in Tina Morgan and Branden Taylor’s home,” says Scott Tully, the grandparent’s attorney.

Attorney Scott Tully says he's filed a governmental tort claims notice to DHS suggesting an improper investigation, or failure to investigate. The family is claiming this ultimately leading to Micheal's death.

"Even Tina, during one of your interviews admits that DHS was out there quite a few times and we've been told by family members that DHS was actually out there, as late as the night before Michael was found dead."

Tully says Micheal was not properly protected, and DHS should've known of the danger the child was in. The notice states a compensation demand of $5 million.

Tully says the demand is just a number they can work with. There's a cap within the Governmental Tort Claim Act set at $175,000. This is what Micheal's 4-year-old sister would get if the maximum amount of money was awarded.

DHS will have 90 days to respond to this notice, or simply ignore it. If they do, a lawsuit must be filed within 180 days.        

2 Works For You reached out to DHS, but the organization declined to comment.  

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