BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Two new legal battles in connection to the case of brothers Orrin and Orson West, have been filed by their biological mother Ryan Dean, and family. This comes 18 months after they were reported missing from the California City home of their adoptive parents, Jaqueline and Trezell West.
18 months later, the names Orrin and Orson West continue to be spoken by the community whose prayers were in vain as the boys are now presumed dead and their bodies nowhere to be found.
Ryan Dean and her mother Dana Moorer are seeking $40 million from the Kern County Department of Human Services, alleging negligence on its part contributed to the boys’ deaths.
“This was a state-created danger,” said Waukeen McCoy, Attorney for Dean and Moorer. “My clients don’t want this to happen to another family in the future.”
The suit names as defendants the state Department of Social Services, Kern County Human Services, the Wests, and others.
In April, McCoy filed a claim on behalf of Dean and Moorer. Since then, McCoy says the county rejected the claim and instead delegated the matter to county counsel, and the state failed to respond.
“We believe that the government, Kern County, and the state did not follow the federal mandates which resulted in the deaths of the children,” said McCoy.
According to the suit, Dean filed reunification requests and completed parenting classes to regain custody, and filed numerous complaints with the Kern County Human Services, but Dean believes they did nothing in response.
A news conference regarding the federal suit is set for Tuesday morning in San Francisco.
Trailing behind them, biological grandfather Leif Dean also filed a civil claim against Kern County arguing the children were wrongfully removed from their parents’ home. Dean’s claim seeks an amount in excess of $25,000, representing him as the same attorney representing Charles and Brenda Pettus, biological father and grandmother to the boys.
The boys’ adoptive parents, Trezell and Jacqueline West are charged with murder and other offenses in their deaths. They are due back in court next month.
“In the United States, the rule is ‘preserving the family unit,” said McCoy. “So why didn’t Kern County or the state seek to keep this family together?”