Lawsuit Claims Workers Negligent in Child's Poisoning

AUGUST 25, 2005 -- The aunt of a child who died from insecticide poisoning two years ago has filed a lawsuit against Onslow County officials, saying workers were negligent for not preventing the child's death.

The complaint alleges the Department of Social Services was alerted at least six times that 7-year-old Kayla Allen might have been abused while she was living with guardian Carolyn Ann Futrell.

Futrell has pleaded not guilty to murder and felony child abuse in Allen's slaying.

Heather Christie Baker, who's the half-sister of Kayla's mother, says she first noticed a black eye on Kayla when the child was 2 years old and that she repeatedly asked for information about Kayla from DSS workers.

An attorney representing several agency workers named in the lawsuit says the agency and its workers did all they could to help Kayla and that allegations were thoroughly investigated and employees adequately responded to Baker's questions.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.