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State pays settlement in toddler’s death


The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) has reportedly settled its part of a lawsuit stemming from the death of a 16-month-old girl who had been in foster care.

DCS has reportedly agreed to pay $150,000 to the child’s mother, Kelli Sprunger, for its alleged role in the March 2009 death of Alissa Guernsey.

DCS personnel reportedly noted that the settlement didn’t assign fault, nor did it reflect the value of a child’s life.

The lawsuit was originally filed in LaGrange County, but was transferred to federal court in June 2010.

Guernseydied from unexplained injuries after she was placed in the care of Sprunger’s cousin, Christy Shaffer. Shaffer, who claimed she did not know how the girl received the injuries, was convicted of neglect and sentenced to four years in prison. She served 77 days before being released.