Taylor & Ring Secures $13M Verdict Against Los Angeles Unified School District

Taylor & Ring Secures $13M Verdict Against Los Angeles Unified School DistrictOn February 26, Taylor & Ring secured a $13M verdict against the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), in a case involving a 9th-grade student (Jane Doe) and a 19-year-old special needs assistant named Daniel Garcia. The 14-year-old was a student at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) in 2014 when Garcia groomed and sexually abused her. The jury apportioned 80% of the fault for Jane’s damages to the LAUSD. Partners John Taylor and Natalie Weatherford represented Jane in this case.

The sexual abuse included Garcia grooming Jane before putting his number in his phone, texting her, touching her, and sending graphic photos of himself. He also drove her to a park in late 2014 and sexually abused her in his car, continuing to harass her until September 2015 when he was transferred to another school.

Garcia was transferred to Daniel Pearl Magnet High School after being removed from Cesar E. Chavez High for an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old. He was then transferred to Will Rogers Continuation School before being fired and charged with felony rape.

Attorney John Taylor told KNX News that “In meeting and grooming the 14-year-old girls, he would ask to see their cell phone. He would put his number in the cell phone and then send himself a text message so that he then had the girl’s phone number captured in his phone.”

Taylor also notes, “The jury found that there were multiple red flags that have been ignored by the school principal and other teachers and that had they acted, they could have prevented the harm and abuse that was perpetrated on this girl.”

Jane reported Garcia’s abuse on April 20, 2016. Garcia was arrested on May 3 and admitted to having sexual contact with Jane and other LAUSD students. He was charged with several felonies, and eventually pleaded no contest to felony statutory rape.

Taylor said in a press release, “LAUSD knew Garcia had serious boundary issues with students when they transferred Garcia from school to school. [The district] repeatedly passed the trash and exposed thousands of students, including Jane Doe, to a dangerous, unfit employee.”

Taylor & Ring fights for sexually abused students

At Taylor & Ring, we understand that school is supposed to be a safe place. When teachers and staff overstep their bounds and become a threat to students, we are here to help. We have secured restitution in a wide variety of cases, including:

  • $102M verdictfor two students who were sexually abused and groomed by their band teacher Samuel Neipp, a former music teacher at Dartmouth Middle School.
  • $100M settlementfor multiple plaintiffs in the Santa Monica PAL/Eric Uller abuse case where the City of Santa Monica covered up the abuse.
  • $25.3M verdictfor a 13-year-old boy who was abused almost daily by a supervisor at the Westerly School in Long Beach, California. Despite suspicions of abuse by one former employee, and incidents involving other teachers, none of this behavior is ever reported to the police. Stephen W. v. Westerly School of Long Beach
  • $25M verdict against Santa Barbara Unified School District for John Doe #2, who testified that the abuse began when he was 14 years old in 2008, and continued until 2011.
  • $14M settlementfor two adult women sexually abused by their middle school teacher recovered the largest “per victim” settlement in the nation: $7 million each.
  • $10.8M verdictfor a boy who had been sexually abused by a teacher off school premises. The school district previously received an anonymous letter warning that the teacher was acting improperly with boys.
  • $10M settlementin a sexual abuse case brought on behalf of a minor with special needs who was sexually abused by her bus driver. Jane Doe v. Lucia Mar Unified School District, et al.
  • $7.9M settlementfor a woman who was sexually abused by a teacher at Grover Cleveland Charter High School during her time as a student.

Our Los Angeles attorneys advocate for justice for students who have suffered sexual assault or abuse at school – we are here to listen when you’re ready to talk. You are never alone. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual abuse by a teacher, coach, or any other school district employee in California, our Los Angeles attorneys are here to help. Contact Taylor & Ring today by calling us or using our contact form to set up a free consultation with a compassionate attorney. We have offices in Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach. We also proudly serve all of Southern California.