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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 14, 2008

DEPARTMENT OF LAW NEWS RELEASE

State announces settlement

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The State of Alaska has reached a settlement with plaintiffs AJ and DD in the lawsuit filed in Anchorage Superior Court. AJ and DD’s claims date back to 1989 and 1990 involving child protective services. The jury would have been asked to make hard decisions regarding these events some 17 or 18 years later. AJ and DD claim that reports of harm which were received by the Department when AJ and DD were young and living with family members were not properly investigated. (DD was under court supervision in a child in need of aid proceeding for some parts of his early childhood but had been returned to his mother for several years as well). Both AJ and DD were placed in the Falgoust foster home during periods of time from 1996 through July, 1999. They allege that the Department failed to properly investigate reports of harm and licensing violations while AJ and DD were in the Falgoust foster home. Tragically, AJ and DD were in the Falgoust home when Melissa Falgoust killed another foster child in the home. It would have been difficult to pass judgment upon the decisions made by the Office of Children’s Services without being affected by this death.

For these reasons, the state has resolved these claims with these two young men, permitting closure on the events.

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