Taylor & Ring is proud to announce that we have secured two spots on the National Law Journal’s (NLJ) Top 100 Verdicts of 2018 list. Each year the NLJ lists the 100 largest verdicts in the country. Taylor & Ring’s verdicts included:
- $45.4 million – F.M. v. County of Los Angeles
- $25.3 million – Stephen W. v. Westerly School of Long Beach
About the cases
Partners Dave Ring and Louanne Masry secured the $45.4 million jury verdict on behalf of the client’s daughter, “F.M.,” against the County of Los Angeles and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). F.M. was repeatedly molested and sexually abused by a number of men, while her drug-addicted mother ignored it. It is believed that as many as 15 different men abused F.M. between 2010 and 2012. F.M. eventually disclosed the abuse to her father’s girlfriend.
Despite having looked into another claim involving F.M. and her mother’s household, DCFS systematically failed to follow up on her. In fact, when DCFS discovered that F.M. was being forced to share a bed with a 30-year-old man, all the agency did was ask the man to leave; it never bothered to check to see if F.M. was okay, or if the man was following the rules. Even after failing the young girl so many times, DCFS attempted, during trial, to shift blame to the victim, rather than face accountability itself.
The jury returned the $45.4 million verdict in under 5 hours.
Partner John Taylor and attorney Natalie Weatherford secured this $25.3 million jury verdict on behalf of client Stephen W., who was systematically groomed and sexually abused by Scott Durzo, a former employee of the Westerly School. When Stephen first met Durzo, he was 8 years old and attending a summer sports camp. The abuse began 5 years later, when Durzo was hired by the Westerly School as an assistant counselor, and Stephen started working for Durzo.
During those three years while Stephen was being abused, teachers and employees of the Westerly School were suspicious of the relationship, but were never informed of their legal requirements to report suspected abuse. When employees and parents did raise concerns about Durzo’s other erratic behaviors, they went unheeded. One employee even lost her job when Durzo fired her, despite his lack of administrative duties.
The jury returned a verdict of $25.3 million, siding with the firm’s client because the Westerly School failed in its duty to keep Stephen safe.
At Taylor & Ring, we always fight for our clients, and to secure the best possible outcomes for them. We are all very proud of the work we do, and of the sexual assault survivors who come forward to tell their stories, trusting us to protect them and their futures. We will continue the work of holding people and institutions accountable for their actions, and fighting to secure the compensation that our clients so rightfully deserve. To speak with an experienced Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyer, please call 310.776.6390 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout California. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you.