Oklahoma Department of Human Services to pay $9,500 to settle lawsuit over child mix-up

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has agreed to pay $9,500 to settle a lawsuit filed in 2007 after a temporary worker picked the wrong girl up from school.
by Nolan Clay Published: October 26, 2012
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The state Department of Human Services has agreed to pay $9,500 to settle a lawsuit filed after a temporary worker picked up the wrong girl from a Harrah elementary school in 2006.

Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Davis approved the settlement Thursday.

“It was just a mix-up,” DHS attorney Richard Freeman said. “Once it was determined there had been a mistake, we rectified it as soon as possible.”

Ashley Solmi was a student at Clara Reynolds Elementary School in Harrah when the DHS worker picked her up by mistake April 14, 2006. Ashley was then 9 or 10, her mother told the judge.

Solmi is now 16, the mother said.

Freeman said both the DHS worker and the school made mistakes.

“They gave us the wrong kid, but we didn't catch it,” he said.

The worker was supposed to pick up a different girl for a supervised visit with that girl's family, Freeman said.

The worker instead picked up Solmi, who has a similar first name to the girl who should have been picked up, he said.

Worker not rehired

The temporary social work aide's employment with DHS ended in July 2006, records show. She was never rehired.

Solmi's parents, David and Kimberly Solmi, sued Harrah Public Schools and DHS in 2007. The school district settled in 2010 — also paying $9,500.

The lawsuit alleged the DHS worker “failed to read the ‘pickup order' for the correct child and effectively took Ashley Solmi from her school, without cause, transporting her to the Midwest City office of ... DHS.”

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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