by @KMcGrory and @MaryEllenKlas
Time is running out for lawmakers to compensate a Spring Hill man who, as a young boy, was sexually abused by a foster child living in his home.
A jury awarded the man $5 million because the state Department of Children and Families failed to disclose the foster child's violent history to the family that took him in.
But in order for the man to collect, the state Legislature must approve what's known as a "claim bill." And so far, Senate leaders have held up about two dozen such bills, calling the process flawed.
Howard Talenfeld, the attorney representing the Spring Hill man, called the situation "sad," but said he hadn't given up hope of lawmakers taking action before the session ends next Friday.
"It's amazing to me that the state won't right some wrongs," he told the Times/Herald. "This is adjudicated by a jury. This is something (for which) we fought for years."
The victim, who is identified only as C.M.H. in legal documents and the claim bill, was 8 years old when his parents invited a 10-year-old boy to live in their home in 2002.
"They knew a kid from (their son's) school who was wandering the streets and took him in," Talenfeld said.
The two boys shared a bedroom.
What the family didn't know: The child placed in their home had an "extensive history" as a victim and perpetrator of sexual abuse, according to the claim bill.