Lawyers at The Senators Firm, LLP announced today that they have settled civil claims against Los Angeles Unified School District on behalf of more than two-dozen children and their parents for around $88 million. The children were victims of sexual abuse by teachers at two LAUSD elementary schools: Telfair Elementary School in Pacoima, and George de la Torre Elementary School in Wilmington.
LAUSD attorneys confirmed the settlements on May 16. "We're glad that we're able to resolve both of these cases so we can avoid potentially painful litigation and put these cases behind us," District lawyer Gregg McNair told the Los Angeles Times. "We're turning a corner here because we've resolved the last two very large cases that were involving the district," added McNair.
Lawyers at the Senators Firm voiced their concern that McNair's comments reflected unwillingness on the part of District officials to acknowledge the extent of the child abuse problem at LAUSD. Senators Firm partner Labriola warned that the settlements are "the tip of a huge iceberg" that has enormous implications for students and the District. "At this time we are actively litigating or investigating dozens of additional child sexual abuse claims involving multiple LAUSD campuses," said Labriola, who also noted that to his knowledge no LAUSD administrators involved in the Telfair and George de la Torre abuse scandals were fired or disciplined by the District.
The $88 million settlement comes less than two years after LAUSD agreed to pay approximately $139 million to settle dozens of sexual abuse claims involving students at Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles, including more than 40 victims represented by The Senators Firm.