Lights & Sirens

Go behind the yellow tape with The News Tribune

NOTICE: Lights & Sirens has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Lights & Sirens.
Visit the new section.

Lawyers representing Susan Cox Powell preparing to file damages claim against state in deaths of Charlie and Braden

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Aug. 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm with 20 Comments »
August 2, 2012 3:28 pm

Seattle attorneys James S. Rogers and Anne Bremner are preparing to file a claim for damages against the state of Washington on behalf of missing Utah mother Susan Cox Powell. The claim will accuse the state of negligence in the deaths of Powell’s sons, Charlie and Braden.

Rogers and Bremner filed paperwork in Pierce County Superior Court on Monday seeking to have a guardian ad litem appointed to represent Powell’s interests in a “cause of action for injuries allegedly sustained as a result of negligence of State of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services, resulting in the death of her children …”

The boy’s father, Josh Powell, attacked them with a hatchet at a home in Pierce County earlier this year before setting fire to the house, killing the three of them. DSHS officials were monitoring Josh Powell as he worked to regain custody of his sons, who were taken by the state  in September 2011 after detectives raided the home of their grandfather, Steven Craig Powell.

A Superior Court commissioner signed an order Monday appointing Seattle attorney William Dussault to act as Susan Cox Powell’s guardian ad litem until any litigation is resolved. Susan Cox Powell has been missing and presumed dead since December 2009 when she disappeared under mysterious circumstances from her suburban Salt Lake City home. Josh Powell was being investigated in her disappearance at the time of his death, but he was never arrested or charged with a crime in his wife’s disappearance.

Rogers said Thursday he expects to file the claim — the precursor to a lawsuit — next week. DSHS does not comment on pending litigation.

“This didn’t have to happen,” Rogers said of the deaths of Charlie, 7, and Braden, 5.

DSHS released a report Thursday detailing the findings of a “child fatality review” into Charlie’s and Braden’s deaths. The report found that DSHS officials come have done a better job monitoring Josh Powell’s behavior and consulting with law enforcement but that their handling of the case “was consistent with and sometimes exceeded accepted standards for child welfare practice and procedures …”

Rogers disagreed.

“The evidence of negligence is considerably stronger than what was released in the report,” he said.


Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. gonefishin69690 says:

    Surprised it took this long! Yep, a load of cash always makes everything all better.

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    I’m not clear on what the point is. Is this money supposed to bring Susan back to life, or the boys, or all 3 of them? Or is the argument that DSHS will do a better job if they have less money to work with?

  3. MrCarleone says:

    The Taxpayers of the State of Washington say “Thank You” to DCFS for yet another failure.

  4. The point of this is for the attorneys representing the missing Susan Powell and the guardian ad litem to get paid.

    There are other ways to hold the state accountable, but none of them will result in a pay day for attorneys.

  5. cargilekm says:

    If the lawyers for Susan Powell make the claim that she is dead at the hands of her husband, how can they file a lawsuit for a person that isn’t alive? I didn’t think a dead person could give consent for the legal action in her name. Maybe her family, but not the dead person. This is just a greedy grab for the lawyers.

  6. Funny how money makes everything better. This lawsuit is about greed. They should be ashamed.

  7. NorthyB says:

    Big payday for the lawyers if they win. Eventually the money flow back to Susan Powells parents when/if they find her body or she is officially declared dead. Why do people think every tragedy has to end in a payday?

  8. How about dshs employees doing a two week long car wash, giving up their vacations, to raise money to pay the damages ?

    Sounds fair to me.

  9. dirtydan54 says:

    So shes alive and has lawyers representing her huh? OR Opportunistic liars without a client.

  10. Sroldguy says:

    Are these the two lawyers along with the Cox’s that harassed Josh Powell at the request of the police department in Utah and never said a word to local Washington authorities about what they were doing?

    I believe the person that did the last evaluation on Josh Powell said that Josh couldn’t accept the fact that the Cox’s were not harrassing him and he took a hit for that when in fact they had been harassing him?

  11. I hope nobody is surprised that a superior court commissioner would appoint a guardian ad litem without a lawsuit being filed. I guess I can wander on down there and get one appointed to deal with my annoying neighbor. I might sue him later; I am just not quite sure yet.

    Plus, I think they have the wrong defendant. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office did far more than DSHS to help cause the deaths. By the way, what about Grandpa Powell? Does he get a share since he’s a grief stricken surviving relative?

    And make sure to frisk those Seattle attorneys at the security screening every time. They aren’t local grand poobahs so make ‘em suffer like the rest of us peons.

  12. Whatever1214 says:

    Shakespeare had it right.

  13. ItalianSpring says:

    At least the feds won’t screw up healthcare. Incompetency only exists at the state level.

  14. DSHS and the law enforcement agencies were simply dealing with the situation as best they could. The ones REALLY at fault were the judges and courts who, in spite of all the warning signs, continued to allow Powell access to his children.

  15. Wrapper98439 says:

    I don’t understand how a lawsuit can be filed on behalf of a dead person. If she is dead, she did not suffer a loss, and if she is alive, she can file the lawsuit. Sounds like the lawyers are the only people standing to gain anything.

  16. dirtydan54 says:

    Thinking about it, such an action has a very good chance of it not being dismissed judging by this courts judicial officers routine willingness to ignore fundamental rights, statutory law and the lomg established and maintained jurisprudence of law established by both the U.S. Supreme and Wa. State Supreme and appellate courts of those involved in family law matters.

    When the day finally comes where the routine crimes committed by those of the W.S.B.A acting as judicial officers and officers in this court are ever brought into the light of day,

    I assure you there will be many many irate victims, their families and children who will want to hang these criminals for what they routinely do under the color of lawful authority.

    In my opinion these public officers are at least at the same level of evil as other persons who committ crimes against children and unknowing parties who are trusting these crooks to perform their duties as required by law and oath.

    And should serve a double sentence in prison with other child predators for being in the public trust and committing the most vile and unconscionable criminal acts.

    Any current or past judicial officer of that corrupt court wishes to dispute my allegations, let’s do so in a public forum and let the people decide.

    Dont wanna do that now do you, crooks.

    Daniel R. Kimbel

  17. SumnerSon says:

    In my humble opinion, ambulance (or hearse) chasers.

  18. Anne Bremnner-as well as the COXs-are reprehensible Dirtballs….the first thing the Cox’s did after Joshboy torched the house is to call a Press conference for all media…don’t sound like traumatized family members to me (who i would think would like some privacy)

  19. AnnyNominus says:

    wow. I hope these lawyers get laughed out of court, for representing a dead person.

  20. PolarBear53 says:

    Mr and Mrs Cox shame on you!

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0