A federal appeals court has found that a Denver city social worker can be sued for violating the constitutional rights of a boy after she recommended that he be placed in his father's custody despite knowing that the father was a convicted sex offender.
The boy was physically and sexually abused by his father.
Monday's decision by a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected case worker Kelcey Patton's claim that, as a city employee, she is protected by governmental immunity.
An attorney for the boy, who is now an adult, says the decision allows him to seek damages in a lower court from both the worker and the city.