STOCKTON, Calif., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys representing Diana C., a 10-year-old special needs child who was molested at age 8 by a school bus driver employed by the Lodi Unified School District (LUSD), today announced a $4.75 million settlement with their client.
Victim's attorney Kenneth Meleyco called the settlement, "The largest pre-trial settlement of its kind against a school district in the history of California."
"This settlement provides some small measure of justice for a little girl who suffered horrible abuse at the hand of a school bus driver who should never have been hired," said victim's attorney John Manly. "It also sends a clear message to every school district in California – protect our children from dangerous predators or suffer the consequences."
On February 27, 2013, a San Joaquin Superior Court jury decided unanimously that Lodi Unified was negligent in hiring Richard Evans, 61, a driver employed by LUSD to transport the victim to her special needs classroom, who sexually assaulted and molested her. The jury also ruled that Lodi Unified was 90% liable, an unusually high degree of liability for a school district in a case such as this.
Evans' assault on the victim was captured by video camera on board the school bus. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his crimes. During the trial, Plaintiff lawyers revealed that the school district ignored the fact that Evans was convicted in 2000 of having sex with a prostitute inside his potato chip delivery truck and hired him anyway.
"The district did not apologize for their negligence in this case, nor have they changed their hiring policies," said victim's attorney Vince Finaldi. "We are calling for a state investigation into hiring standards for non-classified school employees and action to require school districts to protect the public by doing detailed background checks of prospective employees and rejecting those who pose a threat to children."
About John Manly and Manly & Stewart: The founding partner at Manly & Stewart in Irvine, California, John Manly was named one of California's "Top 100 Attorneys" by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and is California's preeminent attorney representing victims of sexual abuse. Over the past decade, John and his legal team have been heavily involved in the most significant sexual abuse actions litigated across the nation, assisting in the recovery of more than a billion dollars—through trial and settlement—on behalf sexual abuse victims.
John Manly or Vince Finaldi (Kathy Frederiksen)
For more information about the firm, please visit www.manlystewart.com
About the Law Offices of Kenneth N. Meleyco: Kenneth N. Meleyco specializes in representing victims who have suffered severe or catastrophic injuries. The firm has represented individuals and consumers in virtually all walks of life. They have also represented doctors and lawyers – professionals who understand many of the legal issues involved and who choose them because of their skill, experience and reputation. Many of their cases are referred from other attorneys.
Kenneth N. Meleyco
For more information about the firm, please visit www.meleycolaw.com
CONTACT: LAWRENCE ROBERT
SOURCE Manly & Stewart