Posted: Jul 29, 2010 6:19 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Jul 29, 2010 6:20 PM
On June 15, 2003 in the early hours of the morning Da'Shawne Jones was changing her niece's diaper when her home burst into flames. Her father, Carl Jones Sr., had illegally reconnected his gas service.
Randy Piedrahita, the attorney representing the Jones and Joseph family, said Carl Jones Sr., " went out at night, turned a valve, broke a plastic seal, the seal gave very easily and gas started to float into the house."
Seven family members were in the house at 1221 Truman St. in Opelousas. Da'Shawne says she had no idea what her father had done.
When fire consumed their home---she was helpless.
Da'Shawne said, "I tried to stop it from getting to Dai'jhnea but I couldn't." Dai'jhnea Joseph is now 8 and has had anything but a normal childhood.
Dai'jhnea said kids mess with her and hit her as a result of the burns on her face and body.
Her mother, Constance Joseph, said "people point and say mean things like uhh and stuff like that. I have to let her know, you are going to go through with this probably for the rest of your life."
Joseph says the surgeries are on-going and the expenses as well.
"Medical bills and stuff they wouldn't understand that amount, but if they'd seen what we'd been through and what she's been through and my family members, then you'd understand," she said.
Da'Shawne said the 22 million dollars the six family members won in court is much needed.
"I deserve it, for all the pain and suffering, the bad surgeries I've had," Da'Shawne said. "I think we deserve it."
Centerpoint representatives say they plan to appeal the ruling.