Los Angeles Unified School District Begins Funding Miramonte Elementary School Settlements

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 14, 2013) — The Los Angeles Unified School District began funding settlements reached with 63 of the children with claims against the school district stemming from alleged incidents at Miramonte Elementary School. This is the first dispersal of funds for the settlements reached as part of the school district’s early resolution process.

“Our goal has been consistent—resolve these cases in a fair way that respects the children and avoids the pain of costly, continued litigation,” said David Holmquist, general counsel for the school district. “We want to ensure that the money goes to the children. We appreciate the efforts of the attorneys who worked with us to reach a resolution that is in the best interest of the children they represent.”

Since the court must review and approve of every settlement with a minor, this initial distribution covers the first of the settlements that the court approved in June.  The settlement funds were deposited into investment structures, which will provide the children a greater return over their lifetime. These structures will take the settlement amount and place it into investments, which provide a guaranteed return for the children. As the court approves the remaining settlements in the coming weeks, the school district will fund the rest of the more than 60 settlements.

“We are grateful to the court for moving the settlements along and making a determination that is consistent with what all settling parties concluded—that the settlements are fair and provide for the current and future needs of the children,” said Holmquist. 

The school district settled approximately half of all of the claims stemming from allegations at Miramonte through the early resolution process. Last month, additional settlements were reached when several of the remaining plaintiffs accepted the most recent offers made under Code of Civil Procedure section 998.

The school district has consistently sought informal resolutions for these cases to ensure that the resources available are directed towards the children and the classroom and not the cost of litigation, which has already forced the school district to spend more than $2.5 million on litigation.

“Ensuring that the resources go to the students is our top priority,” said Holmquist. “We’ve already spent significantly on litigation, which erodes the resources available to reach settlements with the remaining children.”

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Contact: Sean Rossall (310) 210-7586