Sexual Abuse Attorneys Ready to Fight for MacLaren Hall Victims
If you were subjected to sexual abuse at MacLaren Hall (aka “MacLaren Children’s Center”), a Los Angeles County Juvenile Probation Camp, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.
MacLaren Hall was a “children’s residential care center” that operated for more than four decades in El Monte before being shut down in 2003. In the time the facility was in operation, and years after its closure, numerous reports surfaced alleging then-minor residents of MacLaren Hall were sexually abused on a regular basis.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in 2002 against Los Angeles County for failing to provide adequate medical care for minors residing at MacLaren Hall. The ACLU urged Los Angeles County to take steps to improve their facilities and better meet the needs of foster children under its care. Among the demands made by the ACLU included closure of MacLaren Hall. Los Angeles County ultimately agreed to this demand and closed the facility.
Years later, a lawsuit against Los Angeles County on behalf of a dozen people alleging they were sexually abused while housed at MacLaren Hall as minors. After this lawsuit was filed, an additional 31 victims bravely stepped forward and joined the civil lawsuit to ensure their voices were heard and they had a chance to hold their abusers accountable for the pain and suffering they inflicted on them while housed at MacLaren Hall. In addition to allegations of rampant sexual abuse, the lawsuit alleged that MacLaren Hall was overcrowded, understaffed, and poorly maintained.
California Legislature Expands Time Period for Abuse Victims to Take Legal Action and Hold Their Abusers Accountable
In 2019, the California Legislature passed the California Child Victims Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The state law provided a “lookback” window of three years enabling victims of childhood sexual abuse residing in California to take legal action against their abusers and other responsible parties.
The time limit to file a lawsuit or join a class-action lawsuit is 22 years after you reached the age of majority, or five years from the date of discovering the abuse. Often, childhood sexual abuse victims repress the experience and may only realize it occurred much later in life.
Determine If You Have a Viable Legal Claim
The statute of limitations for these types of cases can be quite complicated. This is why, if you experienced sexual abuse while housed at MacLaren Hall, consider speaking to an experienced lawyer for a confidential consultation. A lawyer will be able to assess the facts of your potential case and provide guidance on whether you fall within the statute of limitations and can file a sexual abuse claim.
Compensation that May Be Pursued When Taking Legal Action
You may be asking yourself, “What type, or exact amount, of financial compensation can I potentially pursue in a lawsuit against Los Angeles County?” The answer is…it depends. Each case is unique and will have its own specific set of circumstances. As a result, the dollar amount awarded will depend primarily on the facts, available evidence, and other complex legal issues.
Nevertheless, in general, there are three types of damages that can be pursued in a California civil action:
California law allows for economic and non-economic damages to compensate victims for harms and losses. In contrast, punitive damages are permitted to punish a defendant for their wrongful or egregious conduct and deter others from committing the same or similar acts.
Schedule a Confidential, No-Cost Case Review with an Attorney Today
Being subjected to sexual abuse as a minor can cause significant, life-long trauma and pain. If you were the victim of sexual abuse or harassment while housed at MacLaren Hall, now is the time to stand up and hold your abuser/s accountable. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation. Our legal team is comprised of seasoned attorneys with a national reputation for being aggressive and working tirelessly on behalf of our clients. We are ready and able to fight for you and aggressively pursue the financial compensation you are deserve. Our team offers compassion,open communication and aggressive representation to ensure that you feel confident about your case. Contact our team today to schedule a free confidential consultation.
SL Chapman is co-counseling these cases with Prestige Law of Sherman Oaks and Palmdale California.