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Gizzell Ford’s mother, grandfather receive $48M settlement

Gizzell Ford, 8 (center), was tortured and killed by her grandmother in 2013. In a civil case Wednesday, a jury sided in favor of the family and offered a $48 million settlement. | Family photo

The family of 8-year-old Gizzell Ford got a little bit of closure Wednesday when a jury sided in their favor, offering a $48 million settlement.

The decision comes roughly a week after the start of the civil case.

Gizzell was a straight-A student who was tortured and killed by her grandmother, Helen Ford, in 2013.

Ford was found guilty of first-degree murder in March and sentenced to life in prison in June.

Gizzell’s father, Andre Ford, was allegedly a participant in the abuse, but he died in custody in Cook County Jail in 2014 before he could be tried.

Her mother, Sandra Mercado, and her maternal grandfather, Juan Mercado, filed a wrongful death suit in July against Dr. Norell Rosado, a pediatrician who examined Gizzell less than a month before she died, as well as the Department of Children and Family Services and a case worker for the department.

Martin Dolan, who represented the family, said the settlement amount is what was requested by the family. The family, Dolan said, feels “justice was served to [Gizzell] and the jury felt the doctor didn’t do his job.”

“The family will still have to deal with the loss and will have to stay strong,” Dolan said. “The people who deal with the entire system of kids and the elderly have to think about the services they’re providing to make sure they’re protecting the vulnerable.”

The State’s Attorney’s Office, which represented Rosado, declined to comment on the matter.