STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — The County of Los Angeles must pay over $20 million to a sexually abused teen whose lawsuit claimed child protective services failed her.
A jury Thursday found in favor of the El Monte girl whose lawsuit alleged two social workers with the county’s Department of Child and Family Services suspected she was being molested but didn’t notify the county.
The $45.4 million award is to be split up among and paid by the county, her mother and four men who lived in their apartment. The county and the mother must pay 45 percent each, which amounts to about $20 million a piece. The men must pay the remaining 10 percent.
An attorney for the girl said social workers Elbis Severo and Lucia So had “reasonable suspicion” she was being abused because one of the men had been previously arrested, but that they never contacted the county or El Monte police about it.
The girl’s lawyers said Severo and So suspected she was abused by Louis Fluet in 2010, when he moved into the home, but didn’t choose remove her from the home until 2012, when the girl told her father’s girlfriend she was being abused.
The mother and the four men were criminally convicted of sexual abuse.
DCFS has come under scrutiny in the last few years over their alleged mishandling of at least two high-profile cases, in which they’d been in contact with boys who were ultimately killed at the hands of their abusive parents.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)