$3.3 Million Settlement Reached with New Haven Unified School District for Enabling Sexual Abuse by Teacher
Greenberg Gross Partner Brian Williams announced a $3.3 million settlement with the New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) in Union City, California, for enabling sexual abuse of two underage girls at the hands of then-teacher, Ray Montoya. Two women, Darcie Metsker and Jane Doe, had bravely filed lawsuits for horrific sexual abuse they each suffered. The grooming and abuse of the Plaintiffs occurred between 1978 and 1980 when they were both students at Alvarado Middle School and James Logan High School.
Prior to the molestation of Plaintiffs, NHUSD administration officials suspended Montoya for inappropriate conduct with another minor student. Incredibly, the District’s superintendent accepted a pedophile’s word that he would not abuse again. NHUSD chose to once again allow Montoya to be left alone, unsupervised, with children. In the cases of Ms. Metsker and Jane Doe, NHUSD teachers and leadership ignored countless red flags indicating that Montoya was abusing his position of trust. The plaintiffs showed tremendous courage in bringing their cases forward after so many years.
These women were finally able hold NHUSH accountable because of a California law that allows victims of childhood sexual assault to take legal action against their perpetrator, or a person or entity who owed them a duty of care, regardless of when the assault occurred. However, any lawsuit must be filed by December 31, 2022.
“The window created by AB 218 is a remarkable tool for survivors of childhood sexual assault. It provides survivors with the power to be heard, and an opportunity to seek justice. That is what happened in this particular lawsuit,” Attorney Brian Williams said.
Linked and Related News Coverage:
- Bay Area schools paying millions to former students for abuse that occurred decades ago
May 20, 2022 | The Mercury News
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