Kansas to pay $75,000 over death of 18-month-old girl

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The state of Kansas will pay $75,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that the Department of Children and Families failed to intervene to protect an 18-month-old girl who eventually died.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Jayla Haag died in 2012 from blunt-force injuries to the head. The girl lived with her mother, Alyssa Haag, in El Dorado.

The suit filed by the father, Steven Watters, accused the agency of ignoring warning signs that included calls to a child-abuse hotline. He also alleged that a DCF social worker was aware of the mother’s persistent use of illegal drugs.

In addition to her injuries, Jayla tested positive for methamphetamine at birth and prior to her death.

Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has promised to reform DCF once she takes office in January.

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