A New York City woman whose two boys were removed from her custody by child welfare officials has filed a federal lawsuit accusing city officials of violating her and her child's civil rights. How does Fausat Ogunbayo propose the city right its wrongs? By paying her $900 trillion of course.
Ogunbayo, in papers filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn asks that the City of New York pay her $900 trillion in damages. She argues that this is a small price to pay given what she's been put through. Ogunbayo claims that her children, now 16 and 13, were improperly placed in foster care in mid-2008 after Administration for Children Services workers asserted that mental health problems prevented her from properly caring for her children. Ogunbayo alleges she and her children have suffered “over three years of terror, horror, grievous harm, time lost, substantial economic hardship and injuries” due to their separation.
According to court papers, in removing the boys, the City contended Ms. Ogunbayo was mentally unstable and had refused treatment. She allegedly suffered from hallucinations and delusions and also left the boys at home alone for extended periods while she was working. Ogunbayo, who is representing herself, has branded the allegations a “huge lie.” Contending that she is, in fact, perfectly sound mentally, Ogunbayo argues that government officials “recklessly disregarded” her “right to family integrity,” and likely caused her children to suffer emotional and mental distress.
The distress is evidently great enough to warrant a high 15-figure payout. Though having one's children ripped away is traumatic, putting a price of $900,000,000,000,000 is perhaps a bit ridiculous. As a good measure of comparison, the largest ever settlement by New York City to an individual is $18,278,000. The amount was awarded to James McMillan, who suffered paralyzing injuries in the 2003 Staten Island Ferry dock crash that killed 11 passengers.
“It's hard to even take it seriously,” says a spokesperson for the City's legal department. “There may be a case, which is for a court of law to decide, but that's a made-up number.” The entire American national debt is $15 trillion.
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