State settles child abuse case | Department of Social and Health Services

After extensive negotiations, a settlement was reached today in the amount of $11 million to resolve both the alleged negligence and civil rights claims of six plaintiffs against the Department of Social and Health Services and 21 individually named social workers.

This lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court (Western-Tacoma Division). The case was scheduled for trial on February 19, 2013. By settling prior to trial, the plaintiffs and the Department avoid the expense of a costly and complex trial and further stress for the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs allege that while they resided in the foster home of Jose and Juanita Miranda (both now deceased), they were sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the foster parents. The plaintiffs allege that DSHS was negligent in the licensing of the Miranda foster home and in investigating multiple complaints from May, 1998 until February, 2005. In addition, two of the six plaintiffs allege that their civil rights were violated by the defendants.

“We regret that these children suffered at the hands of adults they had trusted to love and keep them safe,” said DSHS Children’s Administration Assistant Secretary Denise Revels Robinson.

"Although nothing can change what happened in the home, DSHS believes that the agreement fairly compensates these individuals, who can use the proceeds to meet any special needs they may have in the future," said DSHS spokeswoman Chris Case.


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