Jury selection, settlement talks ongoing in Miramonte case
LA School Report | November 19, 2014
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Jury selection resumed today in the Miramonte Elementary School sex-abuse civil case against LA Unified while settlement proceed but not yet with any results.
The district school board met in a closed session yesterday reportedly to discuss a settlement offer that was made by the plaintiffs, who are former students and parents at Miramonte suing the district over the actions of former teach Mark Berndt, who is now in prison.
With no settlement reached, about 75 prospective jurors were brought in Tuesday, with roughly two dozen advancing in the selection process, according to the Long Beach-Telegram.
Attorney Brian Claypool, who represents three plaintiffs, told ABC7 that a settlement offer had been made and that they were waiting to hear back from the district. He also said he believed the district had been dragging its feet on the case.
“We’re forging ahead, we’re moving forward with the trial, we’re not going to be side-tracked anymore,” Claypool told ABC7. “There’s not going to be any more detours in this case because we feel like that’s what this was.”
LA Unified has already settled 65 claims for about $30 million in civil cases related to Berndt, and there are dozens of other plaintiffs waiting to go to trial.