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After record payout, LAUSD facing another Miramonte abuse claim

Craig Clough | January 20, 2015

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Mark Berndt, former LAUSD teacher

Mark Berndt, former LAUSD teacher

LA Unified is facing yet another civil suit connected to a former teacher at Miramonte Elementary School after an LA County Superior Court judge ruled today that the case can move forward.

The case, E.Z. v LAUSD, was filed May 7 and involves a single plaintiff who says she was a student of Mark Berndt‘s in 1996-1997, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Berndt was convicted in 2013 of committing 23 counts of lewd conduct upon a child and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In November, a $139 million civil settlement for 81 former students of Berndt’s — a record payout for the district — came after the district had previously settled other 65 claims for about $30 million.

The November settlement was described as the last of the remaining Miramonte cases facing a possible trial.

The plaintiff in the new case, a 29-year-old female, is claiming to have received similar abuse for which Berndt was convicted, NBC reported.

On the November settlement, LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said at the time that the the deal “struck a balance” for the two sides.

“Our goal from the outset of these appalling revelations has been to spare the Miramonte community the anguish of a protracted trial, while at the same time being mindful of the financial consequences stemming from settlements,” Cortines said in a statement issued by the district.

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