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OR DHS Offers Record $40M to Settle a Lawsuit From Abused Foster Children

Money next to a legal gavel.

The Oregon Department of Human Services has agreed to pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit filed by four former foster children who were sexually and physically abused in a foster home, court records show.

The agency’s settlement offer marks the culmination of a five-year court battle that scrutinized the harsh treatment of children in Oregon’s foster care system and exposed the agency’s efforts to cover up the abuse of the children in a Marion County foster home in Keizer. In a court filing submitted on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the children’s attorneys said their clients have accepted the state’s offer of $40 million – the largest in an Oregon state foster care lawsuit.

One of the victims in the case endured sexual abuse that led to a 30-year prison sentence for a former foster father in 2017. With detailed documents and testimony, the lawsuit alleges caseworkers repeatedly ignored signs of abuse and tried to cover up the abuse of one child who suffered seven broken bones – even as a criminal prosecution was underway.


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