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Wrongful-death lawsuit in Powell case moves ahead

Published: Saturday, Aug. 16 2014 8:16 a.m. MDT

Chuck and Judy Cox hug at their home in Puyallup, Washington, Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, the day after their grandsons died in a fire at the hand of Josh Powell, their son in law. (Ravell Call, Deseret News Archives) Chuck and Judy Cox hug at their home in Puyallup, Washington, Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, the day after their grandsons died in a fire at the hand of Josh Powell, their son in law. (Ravell Call, Deseret News Archives)

TACOMA, Wash. — A judge is refusing to dismiss a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against Washington state by the maternal grandparents of Josh Powell's children.

Chuck and Judy Cox, the parents of Josh Powell's missing wife, Susan, say in a lawsuit that state social workers did not do enough to keep the boys safe from their father. When a state worker delivered 7-year-old Charlie and 5-year-old Braden to Powell's home in 2012 for what was supposed to be a supervised visit, Powell locked out the worker and ignited a fire that killed him and his sons.

The News Tribune reports that at a Friday hearing an attorney for the state said the Coxes lawsuit was without merit. However a Pierce County Superior Court Judge denied a motion for a summary judgment, saying the case should be heard by a jury.

Josh Powell was a suspect in the 2009 disappearance in Utah of his wife, Susan Powell.

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