REDLANDS, Calif., Aug. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Suit against former Redlands school district teacher Laura Whitehurst by student who fathered her child results in largest single-victim settlement sex abuse case against a public agency in U.S. history.
Attorneys representing the victim of convicted child molester and former Redlands school district teacher Laura Whitehurst today announced a 6-million-dollar settlement of a lawsuit against Whitehurst and her employers, the Redlands Unified School District and the Citrus Valley High School. This settlement represents the largest settlement of a sex abuse case involving a single victim against a public agency in the United States.
"The size of this settlement represents the gravity of the damage done to this young victim and his family and it also highlights the extreme malfeasance and neglect by school officials who turned a blind eye to the criminal conduct of a teacher and failed to protect a student. Our law firm is committed to reforming the Redlands Unified School District so that parents can be confident that their children will be protected from abusers," said victims' attorney Vince W. Finaldi.
The suit alleged that teacher Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst began her sexual relationship with the victim (John BB Doe), who was 16 years old at the time, in the summer of 2012 and the abuse lasted for a year. As a result of this sexual abuse, Whitehurst became impregnated with victim's child, and gave birth to the child in June of 2013.
In addition to engaging in a year-long sexual relationship with a child that resulted in her pregnancy, defendant Whitehurst actually called the principal to excuse the victim's absences while he was attending OBGYN appointments with her.
The lawsuit alleged that the defendants failed to inform the victim's family and law enforcement after they knew or had reason to know that Whitehurst has sexually abused the victim and other students.
Whitehurst was released from San Bernardino County jail after serving six months of her one-year sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi recently filed a notice of claim, announcing that they are representing the alleged victim of Kevin Patrick Kirkland, a 56 year old math teacher at Redlands High School who has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in sexual acts with a young girl from the age of 16 until she reached 18.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is California's leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US.
SOURCE Manly, Stewart & Finaldi