Los Angeles Unified School District Approved $3.55M Settlement For Two Additional Victims of Sexual Abuse Involving Former Miramonte Elementary School Teacher Mark Berndt
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (January 23, 2024) – The LAUSD has voted to approve an additional $3.55 million settlement for two students sexually abused by a former Miramonte Elementary School teacher.
Los Angeles County officials are saying that the two victims were identified as Jane RE Doe and John AE Doe in court documents. The plaintiffs alleged that they were sexually abused, harassed and molested by Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt in or around 2004 to 2008.
Mark Berndt pleaded no contest to 23 charges of lewd acts upon a child in 2013 before being sentenced to 25 years in prison. The lawsuits against the school claim that school officials ignored multiple complaints of sexual abuse by parents, teachers and students going all the way back to the 1980’s.
The Carrillo Law Firm, LLP represents numerous current and past victims in the Miramonte case. Our law firm was able to secure a $139.5 million settlement on behalf of 26 children who were sexually abused at Miramonte Elementary School.
Liability For Los Angeles County Teacher Sexual Abuse
Los Angeles County has a long and sordid history of teachers and government employees who have sexually abused students. According to the Washington Examiner, “Los Angeles County officials are expecting to pay up to $3 billion in the next fiscal year to resolve an estimated 3,000 claims of sexual abuse at its facilities, according to a new budget proposal.” Many different factors may impact the likelihood of sexual abuse.
- Sexual abuse is more likely to take place when teachers are left unsupervised with students.
- Sexual abuse is more likely to take place when schools are not setting clear boundaries related to misconduct.
- Sexual abuse is more likely to take place when schools fail to investigate accusations of wrongdoing.
A school could face civil liability for any instance of sexual assault if they failed to properly monitor the students in their care. Consider, for example, Taylor v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 17 Cal. 2d 594 [110 P.2d 1044], “It is the duty of the school authorities to supervise at all times the conduct of the children on the school grounds and to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to their protection.” If a school fails to take reasonable steps to protect children from sexual predators, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. Several steps should be taken after any instance of suspected child sexual abuse.
- A police report of the incident should be created.
- School records related to the defendant should be sought.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- An experienced teacher sexual abuse attorney should be contacted.
Teachers are mandated reporters and are supposed to report all reasonably suspected instances of sexual abuse. But far too often this does not take place. Indeed, much of the sexual abuse that takes place happens over many years even though students and parents warn schools about certain teachers. Victims of sexual abuse are protected by a number of laws. They are able to seek some measure of accountability through a civil claim.A child sexual abuse attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Los Angeles County Teacher Sexual Abuse
We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP have continued to fight on behalf of the children abused at Miramonte Elementary School. The actions of Mark Berndt are some of the most unconscionable and depraved instances of abuse we’ve ever come across. This makes the indifference of school officials who allowed this abuse to go on for so long all the more reprehensible.
If you or someone that you love has been sexually abused at Miramonte Elementary School, you may have legal recourse. Our team of sexual abuse attorneys are here to fight on your behalf. We are committed to upholding the rights of victims and holding school districts accountable for their negligence. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.