Tragically, MacLaren Hall (now referred to as the MacLaren Hall Children’s Center) in Los Angeles County let systemic abuse take place for decades in what was supposed to be a safe living space for children without homes.
Children were sexually abused by staff members at the foster facility from 1961 until its closure in 2003 and were ignored and neglected when abuse was reported to facility leadership.
If you personally spent time living at MacLaren Hall and are wondering if and how you can get justice, follow along for a deeper dive into how victims have received compensation from LA County since the passage of California’s Child Victims Act.
Why MacLaren Hall is Being Pursued with Legal Action
Since the ACLU brought forward a civil court case alleging child abuse at the MacLaren Hall Shelter for Children in 2003, victims have continued to come forward, especially since the passage of the Child Victims Act in California, which extended the amount of time victims have to come forward about abuse.
While cases have risen from shelters, foster homes, and probation camps across the county, MacLaren Hall comes up repeatedly as a place that harbored sexual predators as employees and disregarded reports of abuse from children at the facility.
Thanks to the Child Victims Act, victims from as far back as the 1950s are eligible to take legal action against LA County for abuse faced at MacLaren Hall. Multiple lawsuits have transpired since the passage of the bill.
Who Qualifies to Take Legal Action?
MacLaren Hall tort lawsuits are continually being filed to get victims compensation for their traumatic experiences in civil court. If you were abused as a child at the foster home managed for LA County, you’re entitled to damages and can join a group lawsuit to take action against the county.
Step-by-Step Process for MacLaren Hall Victims to Take Legal Action
Lawsuits against LA County continue to get filed by attorneys helping victims seek justice.
Here are the ways that child abuse victims from MacLaren Hall can sue the county:
1. Consider your Eligibility by Speaking with an Attorney
If you were abused at MacLaren Hall, you are entitled to compensation. Sign up here to speak with a tort lawyer that is committed to understanding your story, explaining how the law and legal process works, and taking your case to court with the goal of receiving a payout from LA County
2. File a Claim
Once your attorney gets the details, collects evidence, and confirms that you have a valid claim, a complaint will be filed on your behalf. The complaint will outline the systemic behavior at MacLaren Hall that led to sexual abuse and the compensation being sought by the county.
3. Focus on Receiving a Settlement
Once the defendant (LA County) is made aware of the legal action being sought and the discovery process takes place, the defendant will often move to settle the case before it is taken to trial.
If the county makes an offer that the victim and attorney feel is adequate, the case will be settled, and the victim will receive compensation. Settlements can take anywhere from a few months to several years. If a settlement agreement isn’t reached, the county will be taken to court.
To get started, book a call with California attorneys who are pursuing MacLaren Hall today.
MacLaren Hall Legal Action FAQs
1. What is a Tort? Why is Tort Law Being Used Against MacLaren Hall?
Tort lawsuits are meant to provide compensation to a person (or group of persons) who was wronged by the acts of individuals in an organization like MacLaren Hall. Given the historical record of abuse from MacLaren Hall, victims who were abused as children are suing to receive compensation for the negligence and culpability of MacLaren Hall.
2. Does Pursuing MacLaren Hall With Legal Action Cost the Victims Money?
Since there is significant evidence of the wrongdoing from employees at MacLaren Hall and neglect from the LA County leaders in charge of the facility, attorneys are working on contingency with the victims, which means there are no upfront costs to pursuing legal action and the attorneys will only be compensated when the case is settled, and damages are awarded.
3. How Long Will It Take to Settle a Lawsuit with MacLaren Hall?
Settlement time frames vary; your lawsuit against MacLaren Hall could be settled within a few months or a few years. Fortunately, given the lawyer’s ability to work on contingency, you won’t be paying anything out of pocket throughout the legal process.
4. How Much Can MacLaren Hall Victims Expect to Make From Their Tort Lawsuits?
Settlements from MacLaren Hall have varied substantially depending on the nuances of the abuse. Damages you’re eligible to pursue legal action for include pain and suffering, payment of medical bills related to physical or mental health, legal costs, and punitive damages.
Many of the cases thus far against the county have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements. LA County CEO Fesia Davenport was quoted in April 2023 stating, “more than 3,000 claims alleging childhood sexual assault at various County and non-County facilities” could result in anywhere from $1.6 to $3 billion in payouts to abuse victims.