Family Of Gizzell Ford, Who Was Tortured To Death By Her Grandmother, Awarded $48 Million

Garfield Elementary teacher Kathryn Wanicek holds a photo and handwritten note from her former student Gizzell Ford in 2013. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

Family Of Gizzell Ford, Who Was Tortured To Death By Her Grandmother, Awarded $48 Million

The 8-year-old's relatives sued the doctor who treated her before her murder and didn't report her bruises.

Published December 15, 2017

After filing a lawsuit against the doctor who did not report the apparent abusive marks on an 8-year-old — who died 16 days later — the family of Gizzell Ford were awarded $48 million by a Cook County jury, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In July 2013, Gizzell was found strangled, starved and brutally beaten inside her grandmother’s West Side apartment, where she had been living. During the abusive period of living with the grandmother, Gizzell made extremely graphic and upsetting entries in her journal.

Helen Ford, Gizzell’s paternal grandmother, is serving a life sentence for the torturous killing.

Following her death, the girl’s mother, Sandra Mercado, and maternal grandfather, Juan Mercado, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against pediatrician Dr. Norell Rosado for failing to notice the bruises on Gizzell’s body and report her grandmother.

After two hours of deliberating on Wednesday, the jurors swiftly awarding $48 million to the girl’s family, finding Dr. Norell Rosado had been medically negligent. Rosado was part of a multidisciplinary team, including a Department of Children and Family Services investigator, evaluating Gizzell after a report of abuse.

“We just wanted justice for Gizzell, and in our eyes we got it,” said her mother, Sandra Mercado. “I just hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

As the foreman read the verdict, Rosado reportedly showed no reaction, possibly because the Cook County’s insurer that he works under as a county employee will probably shell out the cash, said attorneys.

During the trial, Rosado, now working at Lurie Children’s Hospital, denied the allegations by saying he found “nonspecific” and “nonsuspicious” abrasions on Gizzell’s legs and buttocks that were not indicative of child abuse. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)


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