Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 23, 2013

Court: Workers can’t be sued in girl’s death


---- — CENTREVILLE — Child welfare workers can’t be sued in the death of a southwestern Michigan teen who perished in a fire, even if they knew she was regularly tied to her bed by her parents, a federal appeals court said.

A three-judge panel said the Department of Human Services clearly had contact with the girl and her parents long before the “undeniably tragic” death. But the court said Calista Springer’s civil rights weren’t violated merely because state workers failed to remove her from her St. Joseph County home.

The lawsuit was filed by the 17-year-old’s grandmother on behalf of her estate.