Special Ed paraprofessional grooms and sexually abuses student. $13M. Los Angeles County.


Young teenager is abused by staffer at high school.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jane Doe v. Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC659059
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 22, 2024
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
  • Type of Case: Highlighted Verdicts, Sexual Abuse
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Shirley Watkins
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jane Doe
  • Defendants:
    Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $13,000,000
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $13,000,000 with 80% of the fault apportioned to Los Angeles Unified School District and 20% of the fault apportioned to the perpetrator of the abuse, Daniel Garcia.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Taylor & Ring by Natalie Weatherford and John Taylor, Manhattan Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Grant Genovese & Baratta by James Baratta and Jennifer Kaufman, Irvine.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Jane Doe was groomed and sexually abused by Daniel Garcia, then a 19-year-old special education paraprofessional at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) in Van Nuys. Doe was 14 years old at the time the grooming began; he paid special attention to her, speaking with her during class as well as during nutrition breaks, lunch and after school on campus, The grooming occurred during the 2014-15 school year until the perpetrator was transferred to another LAUSD school. 

    Garcia was previously employed as an hourly campus aide at Cesar E. Chavez Learning Academies during the 2013-14 school year, where he began dating a 17-year-old student, a direct violation of LAUSD policies. He was reassigned to the front office and away from students as a result. 

    He was arrested in May 2016 after Jane Doe confided in her mother about what Garcia allegedly did.  After his arrest, Garcia admitted that he had sexual contact with the girl and several other LAUSD female students and pleaded no contest to one felony.

    He was earlier dismissed from this civil lawsuit against the school district.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended that LAUSD was negligent in its supervision of its student, Jane Doe, and negligent in its retention and supervision of its employee, Daniel Garcia.

    Plaintiff contended that following the grooming, Garcia escalated his attention with texting and excessive touching of the girl on campus and he also told her they were in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.  Plaintiff further contended that Garcia also abused the girl in his car near the school in late November 2014.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant LAUSD contended that it was not negligent and disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Past and future emotional distress.