Starvation, torture, social isolation, and imprisonment — those are among the many horrific things David and Louise Turpin are accused of doing to their 13 young and adult children. Now they face a court battle as investigators continue to gather testimonies and the 13 siblings continue to receive physical and psychological treatment.
According to a lawyer, though, the six kids and seven adults could instigate another court battle, and that one would involve a huge lawsuit against those who, they can argue, should have checked up on their welfare and discovered their alleged abuse. In other words, they could hold someone — in addition to their parents — responsible for how they were treated.
Hollywood Life spoke with family law attorney Steve Mindel about the possibility of a lawyer approaching the siblings to convince them to sue the school district their Perris, California home is located in. Why the school district? Because they didn’t check on their welfare.
But it could be more than just the district that’s blamed. In California, families that want to independently educate their children at home must function as their own private school, according to Time 4 Learning. That’s what the Turpins did, according to records.
However, private schools must also be periodically inspected by a fire marshal, according to the U.S Department of Education. There’s no record of that ever being done at the Turpin home.
Mindel explained, “The children could sue their parents, obviously. But, you’ve got to believe that right now there are hundreds of attorneys who are sitting there trying to think about who has the ability to pay a damage. We call it ‘deep pockets.’ Who has the deep pockets?”
“Maybe it’s the school district for participating in a homeschooling project, but not doing an adequate job of investigating what was going on in the home,” he continued. “There could be many potential defendants, and you could bet that there are many brilliant attorneys out there trying to figure out how to raise some money for these children.”
Mindel added, “At the end of the day, I would not be thinking that the parents are the deep pockets. I would think that it’s going to be some governmental entity that some very creative lawyer is going to bring a lawsuit against.”
He made it clear that the potential winnings from a lawsuit like this could go a long way in supporting the 13 siblings in their new life. However, it could result in a crackdown on homeschooling in California, which won’t go over well with parents who want as little government intervention as possible when schooling their own children.
Numerous state officials and media outlets have already cast a critical eye on homeschooling in California, calling for more state regulation.
What do you think of this? In other news, there’s an odd similarity between John McCain’s and John Kasich’s responses to the memo released Friday and Nancy Pelosi’s response.