Fresno County's child protection program is standing trial, accused of failing to protect a young boy who was beaten to death four years ago.
The suit was filed by Joe Hudson, the father of 10-year-old Seth Ireland. Hudson claims his son's death could have been prevented. He says social workers knew abuse was going on, but did nothing to stop it. He wants the county to pay for it's mistake.
It's been four years since Seth Ireland was brutally beaten and killed by his mother's boyfriend. Lebaron Vaughn is now behind, sentenced to 15 years for murder.
Seth's father believes other people are at fault as well.
Joe Hudson is accusing CPS of failing to protect his only son. He claims if social workers would have done their job, Seth might still be alive.
In civil court on Tuesday, Hudson's attorneys tried to prove CPS ignored many warning signs and let Seth fall through the cracks.
Fresno Police officer Michael Aguilar was called to the stand. He investigated a case of abuse four months before Seth was beaten to death. He testified that all child abuse reports are sent to CPS.
Hudson's attorney Warren Paboojian asked, "Did anybody from Child Protective Services, in three months after the incident occurred, contact you?"
Aguilar responded: "No sir."
Hudson's attorneys also referred to pictures of bruises on Seth's body, suggesting abuse had been going on for awhile.
Seth was Dr. Lawrence Sue's patient at Community Regional Medical Center. During questioning, he testified, "Some of the bruises appeared to be older bruises."
In cross examination, the trauma surgeon admitted it's difficult to determine the age of a bruise through photographs. He did say Seth's injuries raised the suspicion of abuse.
The county is denying the allegations, claiming social workers did exactly what the law requires them to do.
Hudson is seeking an undisclosed amount of money for damages. In order to win the lawsuit, his attorney's must prove CPS failed to follow legal guidelines.