LAUSD Agrees to Settle More Telfair Elementary Lawsuits

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles Unified has tentatively agreed to pay $4.42 million to settle lawsuits brought by three more former students who alleged they were molested by a teacher at Telfair Elementary School in Pacoima.

The lawsuits alleged the district was negligent in its supervision of former teacher Paul Chapel, a one-time third-grade teacher who was sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in  prison for molesting 13 former students over a roughly four-and-a-half-year period. He pleaded no contest to 13 acts of lewd acts on a child.

The proposed settlements were reached last week during negotiations between attorneys and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William MacLaughlin. One plaintiff, Andy C. would receive $2.87 million; a female plaintiff, S.M., would get $1.49 million; and a second male student, A.M., would be awarded $50,000.

All of the settlements are subject to further court approval.

The LAUSD released a statement regarding the latest settlements.

“Attorneys for the Los Angeles Unified School District began finalizing settlements with plaintiffs in the Telfair case,” the statement read. “We are pleased that these children will receive a fair settlement that will address their future needs and also prevent them from having to relive the events by testifying during a trial.”

The LAUSD reached a $5 million settlement with another group of former Telfair students last June.

The lawsuits contended that Chapel was accused of molesting a boy at his Ventura County home in 1997 and reassigned by the district temporarily to an administrative office. A jury that heard the criminal case against him could not reach a verdict, and he was eventually allowed back into the classroom and assigned to Telfair in 1998, the lawsuits stated.

The LAUSD originally hired Chapel in 1989, according to the suits.