Blankingship & Keith personal injury attorneys Peter Everett and Chidi James recently teamed up with seven other law firms to secure a $14,000,000 settlement for nine children who were sexually assaulted by a teacher’s aide at a large regional child care center.
Through exhaustive investigation and discovery in the litigation, lawyers for the children determined that the child care center had compelling evidence indicating that the perpetrator was abusing children, but ignored that evidence and elected not to comply with its mandatory obligation to report suspected abuse. Tragically, one center employee misled a mom whose daughter reported being abused, and convinced her to disbelieve her own daughter.
The child care center failed its children in other ways. The center arranged its playground in ways that allowed the predator to shield his abuse from other teachers, stationed equipment where he abused children in a security camera blind spot and allowed the perpetrator access to children behind furniture in classrooms, further enabling abusive conduct.
As Peter Everett, Blankingship & Keiths’ senior partner on the team, remarked, “The child care center could readily have stopped this serial predator by simply listening to the very children it cared for, and by simple common sense actions to stop a suspected perpetrator from isolating children. Critically, it could and should have reported the suspected abuse immediately, triggering police and CPS protection.”
The civil case followed the conviction of the perpetrator, who was sentenced to 41 years in prison.
A full account of the case can be found at Virginia Lawyers Weekly (sub req).