The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is being sued by a man who claims it ignored reports of child abuse, which led to the death of his 3-year-old granddaughter.

James F. Fountas, paternal grandfather and independent administrator of the estate of G.P., filed a wrongful death lawsuit March 25 in the Cook County Circuit Court against the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the City of Oak Forest.

According to the complaint, G.P. was residing with her aunt and her live-in-boyfriend,  Jessie Rodriguez, in February and March of 2013, during which time the 3-year-old allegedly suffered neglect and abuse.

Fountas claims in the suit that G.P.'s relatives noticed signs of abuse and reported it multiple times to DCFS, as well as the Oak Forest Police Department, but that both agencies failed to act.

G.P., the suit states, died on March 27, 2013 as a result of blunt force trauma. Rodriguez has been charged with first-degree murder in her death, according to media reports.

Fountas is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is being represented in the case by attorney Antonio M. Romanucci, Stephan D. Blandin and Angela P. Kurtz of Romanucci & Blandin LLC.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L003447.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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