The Evergreen School District of San Jose has agreed to a $15 million settlement in a lawsuit brought against them alleging negligence. The suit, filed by victims of Craig Chandler, asserts that the district knew about Chandler’s prior sexual harassment issues when they hired him in 2003 as a second grade teacher.
As SF Gate reports, the school district began to receive sexual harassment complaints about Chandler within a year of his hiring at O.B. Whaley Elementary. Then, in 2008, a principal caught him alone with several blindfolded female students in what he claimed was a “sensory deprivation” exercise. Action wasn’t taken until 2011 when a parent—a lawsuit plaintiff—claimed that Chandler had molested her daughter. Chandler was tried and convicted that year and is currently serving 75 years for molesting five different female students.
Upon agreeing with the $15 million settlement, the district released a statement in hopes that the money would help victims put the incidents behind them. “We believe the settlement will allow the young women impacted by this man’s actions to move forward and heal,” the district stated in the release. “The Evergreen School District looks forward to continuing to build a positive future for the families of this community.”
Ensuring that Victims Also Receive Justice
When tragic circumstances like this occur, it is appropriate that the perpetrator face criminal charges. The criminal justice system punishes those guilty and prevents future crimes from happening—but rarely provides tangible relief for the victims who have already been hurt.
That is why civil justice is so important in these cases. In the case of the Evergreen School District, school officials failed to act on numerous occasions even though it was clear that Mr. Chandler was a risk to his students. Now that it is too late to prevent Chandler from taking advantage of his position as a teacher, it is only just that the school district provide relief for the victims they failed look after.
Contact Us Today
If you have been hurt due to the negligence of organizations or institutions charged with looking after your best interest, then compensation may be possible. Contact our dedicated and compassionate California lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP to request a free consultation today.