Agency ordered to pay $45M in 2-year-old boy's beating death

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CHICAGO - A non-profit has been ordered to pay $45 million to the estate of a 2-year-old suburban Chicago boy whose mother is charged in his beating death.

A Cook County jury reached the verdict Tuesday against Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

Lavandis Hudson was placed in foster care after being born in 2009 with crack cocaine in his system.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services hired Lutheran to evaluate Lavandis' parents and the toddler was returned to the care of his mother, Marles Blackman, in October 2010, on Lutheran's recommendation.

Lavandis died in July 2011 of blunt force trauma. Blackman was charged in 2012 with murder.

Lavandis' estate, including his father, sued Lutheran, accusing it of negligence.

Lutheran says it doesn't plan to appeal. DCFS has not commented on the verdict.

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