By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city of Philadelphia is the target in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of the the mother of Beatrice Weston, the young woman found chained in a Tacony Basement in 2011.

The suit alleges the city failed to keep the young woman safe.

Vicky Weston claims the City of Philadelphia engaged in systematic deceit, providing false reports on Beatrice’s status. The suit alleges the city gave Linda Weston, who spent time in jail for killing her boyfriend in the 1980’s, temporary custody of then 10-year-old Beatrice in 2002 and then permanent custody, but never checked in on Beatrice’s status.

“The city was purposefully or at least negligently engaging in violations of the law,” says Attorney Emeke Igwe.

Igwe says his client suffered an aneurysm in the 1990’s and initially agreed to allow Linda Weston to keep Beatrice, but never agreed to permanent custody.

“Vicky tried for a number of years to see her daughter,” he says, “and even tried to get custody of her daughter, but her sister refused to allow it.”

Igwe says the city’s inaction led to Beatrice being beaten starved and forcibly prostituted by Linda Weston. He says damages could be in the millions.

A similar lawsuit was filed on behalf of Beatrice Weston in state court in 2011. The city of Philadelphia could not be immediately reached for comment.

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