Lawyers for Kelli Murphy filed an answer to a lawsuit seeking damages in the death of an infant who died at the Fairfield home of the girl’s mother in 2012.

In the answer, filed in Kennebec Superior Court on Friday, attorneys for Murphy, 12, denied nearly all of the 76 statements made in the 13-count lawsuit naming Murphy and her mother, Amanda Huard, filed in June by lawyers representing Nicole Greenaway, of Waterville.

On July 8, 2012, Greenaway’s 3-month-old daughter, Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway, died during an overnight stay at Huard’s home.

When Huard files an answer, which must happen within 20 days of the time she was served with legal notice of the lawsuit, it will touch off a process in which lawyers will compile and share evidence related to the case. Resolution of the matter could take a year or more, lawyers said.

Greenaway’s lawyer said the focus of the lawsuit will be on Huard, not Murphy, and that the main motivation for the action was to seek justice, not money. A civil suit is a claim for damages by one party against another believed to be responsible for a wrong. It does not determine guilt or innocence for criminal issues.

An autopsy performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed that the infant had died of asphyxia and suffocation. It also found that Brooklyn’s body contained traces of medication that matched one prescribed to Murphy.

The report said Huard set up “the infant’s portable crib in her 10-year-old daughter’s (Murphy’s) bedroom and entrusted the infant’s care to her daughter.”

Huard called police late that night and told them the infant wasn’t breathing.

The police investigation led to manslaughter charges against Murphy, who, in May of this year, settled the criminal case by admitting to unspecified juvenile violations during a closed-door hearing in Skowhegan District Court.

Under the terms of the agreement, Murphy will continue to receive counseling and treatment until at least the age of 18, and possibly until she is 21.

Greenaway filed the civil suit against both Murphy and Huard, seeking an unspecified amount to compensate Greenaway and her 4-year-old daughter for damages suffered and additional punitive damages for alleged negligence.

In the wake of Murphy’s plea deal, Greenaway said she was angry, both because there was no public admission of responsibility by Murphy and because Huard wasn’t charged.

For the most part, the answer Murphy filed in court concedes only a handful of established biographical facts, such as that Brooklyn was the natural-born child of Greenaway or that Murphy was 10 years old at the time of the death and living with Huard.

Her answer also concedes that, at the time of the incident, “Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway was in the care and under the supervision of the defendant Amanda Huard.”

However, it denies the large majority of the allegations, including a statement that “Murphy’s reprehensible and outrageous conduct … resulted in the conscious suffering and wrongful death of Brooklyn Foss-Greenaway.”

Murphy’s lawyer, John Martin, was not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287

[email protected]

Twitter: @hh_matt


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