Family Sues Niagara CAS

We are Kathleen and Robert Raskin, and today we’d like to bring to light the tragic case of a baby who was killed by his own grandfather after being placed in his care took a unique turn when several of the deceased child’s family members filed a lawsuit. One-year-old Kody Smart’s parents, his paternal grandmother and her husband, and his maternal grandmother are seeking compensation of $150K each for the loss of guidance, care, and companionship that led to the child’s death. The toddler’s killer, Brian Matthews, had been convicted of abusing Kody’s father when he was an infant, but caseworkers from CAS decided to put the baby in his care anyway despite his past. It was a fatal mistake, and now Matthews is on trial for manslaughter.


How Could This Happen?

Despite repeated warnings, Family and Children’s Services placed the baby, who was then 11 months old, into Matthew’s care. Having been abused by him in the past, Kody’s father knew his grandfather was a danger to children. The agencies own files contained documentation that future killer was using drugs and was verbally abusive to a female partner in 1998. Allegations of abuse against children surfaced twice more between 2007 and 2012, and yet the agency handed the boy over to his grandfather anyway. Despite further evidence the boy was not well-cared for, he remained in his grandfather’s care until he died from head injuries.


We, Kathleen and Robert Raskin, demand to know how this could have ever been allowed to happen. The sad truth is, until watchdog organizations are put in place, these tragedies will continue to take place.

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