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Norway Child Welfare Service in $3m lawsuit

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Norway Child Welfare Service in $3m lawsuit
Lawyer Mette Yvonne Larsen wants compensation of $3m. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell / NTB scanpix
15:25 CEST+02:00
Five brothers and sisters are suing Norway's Child Welfare Service for 25m NOK ($3m) for failing to protect them from their psychiatrically ill father despite frequent alerts that he was abusing them and their mother.
Between 2005 and 2009, the agency received at least twelve reports, both from the police and from the elder children. 
 
It was only when the mother was found dead at their home, and their father was taken into compulsory psychiatric treatment that they were finally taken into care. 
 
Mette Yvonne Larsen, the children's lawyer, said that the five children would need at least 25m kroner to be fully compensated for their future loss of income. 
 
“They should be compensated, because they are five gifted and able people, who have not had the lives which they could have had if the Child Welfare Services had done their job,” she told NRK.  
 
Ivar Otto Myhre who is representing the agency in Sandefjord municipality said he could not understand why the five were only bringing the case now, almost five years after they were removed from their home. 
 
The municipality and Child welfare services lawyer, rejects the claims, and finds it strange that they are bringing he case to court almost five years after they were removed from the home.
 
”I find it strange how the case is viewed today. The children said that they weren't happy, but they never asked for any type of intervention that we weren't already doing,” he told NRK. 
 
In 2013, one of the elder brothers described one of the beatings their mother received in an interview with NRK
 
“I remember screaming. I ran into the bedroom and I saw Mum's legs behind the bed. Dad was hitting her, and he hit her again when I was in the room,” he said. “I ran into our bedroom, locked the door, turned the lights off and called the police. I hung up once I had spoken to the police, because when I was talking I heard him coming up the stairs again, calling, ‘where are you?' to mum and me.”
 
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