Jury awards Northern Indiana couple $31 million over false child abuse accusation

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A federal jury has awarded more than $31 million to a northwestern Indiana couple who sued the state after being wrongfully accused of causing their daughter’s death.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Waples told The (Munster) Times that Roman and Lynnette Finnegan of Knox won the verdict this week followed a three-week trial in federal court in Hammond.

The Finnegans’ 14-year-old daughter, Jessica, was found dead in their home in 2005. Waples says the Indiana Department of Child Services and Indiana State Police suspected the Finnegans caused the girl’s death and ultimately took custody of the couple’s three other children and arrested the couple.

Waples says it was later determined that Jessica died as a result of her doctor prescribing too much medication that caused bleeding in the child’s brain.

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