A California foster care agency paid $4 million to settle a lawsuit by two grade school children charging that it placed a sexual predator in their foster home who molested them over six months.
The settlement was negotiated by Richard B. Koskoff, Amy S. Nnen, and Carly L. Edson of the Law Offices Of Booth & Koskoff in Torrance, CA, and Raymond F. Dolen with Orrock Popka Fortino Tucker & Dolen in Redlands, CA.
The name of the foster family agency was confidential.
Plaintiffs Raheem O., Jr., age 9, and Anthony E., age 10, were both removed from their parents' custody as a result of abuse and neglect and were placed into the dependency system. In approximately August 2008, Raheem O., Jr. was placed in the foster home of Bridgette Frields.
Approximately one year later, the County of San Bernardino and a foster family agency placed another dependent child, Rickie F., in the same home. In November 2010, it was discovered that Rickie F., who was several years older than Raheem O., Jr., had been repeatedly and continuously sexual abusing and molesting plaintiffs Anthony E. and Raheem O., Jr. in their foster home.
The plaintiffs filed suit in San Bernardino County Superior Court and alleged that defendants knew, or should have known, that Rickie F. had a history of sexually molesting younger, male children. Plaintiffs further alleged that defendants breached their mandatory duty to warn by failing to warn the foster mother, Bridgette Frields, of Rickie's dangerous propensities.
The defendants contended that they had no knowledge of Rickie's history of sexual abuse. Further, defendants claimed that Rickie had been successfully rehabilitated, since at least five years had passed without incident by the time Rickie was placed in the Frields' home. Lastly, defendants claimed that the boys were engaging in consensual sex play and that plaintiffs did not suffer injuries or damages, and that any damages that did exist were the result of their poor backgrounds and upbringing, and not the result of any sexual molestation by Rickie F.
The parties participated in two mediations with mediator Darrell A. Forgey and reached a $4,000,000 settlement on August 10 just two days prior to trial.
The plaintiff's experts were Susan Culbertson, Social Worker Expert, Sarah Dehay, Foster Family Agency Expert, Tamorah Hunt, Economist, David Paster, M.D., Psychiatrist, and Amy Sutton, Ph.D., Life Care Planner.