Four victims of alleged child abuse and neglect have filed a $25 million lawsuit against a former Cape Coral couple and the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
“My clients lived a daily nightmare because DHR workers failed to do their jobs and it is appalling that DHR allowed this to happen,” Tommy James, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said. “It is incomprehensible that this abuse went on for years right under the nose of DHR workers. They ignored clear and repeated signs of child abuse and neglect that resulted in emotional and physical consequences that my clients will live with forever.”
Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon were arrested in July 2016 for charges of sexual and physical abuse of at least 10 adopted or foster children in their care.
Daniel Spurgeon pleaded guilty in 2019 to the crimes he was charged with and was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole. Jenise Spurgeon is awaiting trial for crimes against the victims that are addressed in the lawsuit.
Th Spurgeons will appear before Judge Robert Bannon on the Lee County charges on March 5.
The lawsuit stems from alleged child abuse, torture and neglect in foster homes of the Spurgeons when they lived Alabama and Florida.
According to the lawsuit, the victims were sexually abused, physically abused, emotionally abused and verbally abused, and that they were raped, sexually and physically tortured, chronically starved and punished excessively.
The suit alleges that the Alabama Department of Human Resources and its employees received complaints of abuse and neglect, but didn’t do anything to stop it. The suit says the employees didn’t follow mandatory policies and didn’t suffer any consequences.
“The victims in these cases suffered the most shocking abuse imaginable as a direct result of a catastrophic failure of Alabama’s Child Welfare system,” James said. “The system is broken in Alabama and it has failed these and countless other victims. There is utter chaos because caseworkers are not following DHR policies and procedures. This chaos allowed these children to slip through the cracks.”