State settles juvenile facility sex abuse lawsuit for $2.1M

The 10 claimants said they were sexually abused at a juvenile rehabilitation facility in the ’70s.

Associated Press

OLYMPIA — The state of Washington has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by 10 people who said they were sexually abused at a juvenile rehabilitation facility when they were teenagers.

One of the plaintiffs lives in Pierce County, which is where the lawsuit was filed in Superior Court in 2018, The Olympian reported.

Some plaintiffs were at Green Hill School in the ’70s while some were there as recently as the early 2000s. The state on Sept. 1 agreed to settle their lawsuit for more than $2.1 million.

The facility in Chehalis houses teenagers from across the state who are sentenced to juvenile rehabilitation treatment.

“Through numerous sources, the State knew or should have known that a culture of sexually inappropriate behavior pervaded the Green Hill School,” the lawsuit said. “The knowledge of this culture of abuse went all the way to the highest levels of management of Green Hill School and, upon information and belief, the highest levels of those State agencies charged with protecting the children sent there.”

Darrell Cochran, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said this week the settlement is “a fresh start” that gives his clients resources to support things such as education, stable housing and sobriety.

The Department of Social and Health Services previously ran Green Hill and other juvenile facilities. The recently created Department of Children, Youth and Families started administering juvenile rehabilitation programs in 2019.

“These claims all stem from events that occurred between 1976 and 2008 — 15-40 years ago, and do not reflect DCYF’s current practices, policies, or procedures,” department spokesperson Jason Wettstein said in a statement. “DCYF hopes these settlements are a start to the healing process for these 10 individuals.”

The oldest plaintiff was 18 and the youngest was 14 when they went to Green Hill.

Cochran said law enforcement approached three of his clients about ongoing criminal investigations.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a news conference, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced that Washington state is expanding its vaccine mandate to include all public, charter and private school teachers and staff, as well as those working at the state's colleges and universities. Inslee also expanded the statewide indoor mask mandate in place for non-vaccinated individuals to include those who are vaccinated. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Gov. Inslee asks feds for medical staffing help with COVID-19

The state also requested Department of Defense personnel “to assist with the current hospital crisis.”

Two combines harvest wheat, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, near Pullman, Wash. Across eastern Washington, a drought the National Weather Service classified as "exceptional" has devastated what is normally the fourth largest wheat crop in the nation. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
2021 a record-breaking drought year in parts of Washington

Wheat, lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes in the east side of the state have all suffered.

Two Makah Indian whalers stand atop the carcass of a dead gray whale in the harbor at Neah Bay on May 17, 1999. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Tribe wins major step toward resuming whaling off Washington

A judge has recommended that the Makah tribe once again be allowed to hunt gray whales.

Jury orders city of Roy to pay $3.26M to men shot by police

The verdict is one of the largest in Western Washington involving a nonfatal police shooting.

Former WA employee charged with stealing unemployment funds

Reyes De La Cruz, III, of Moses Lake is charged with defrauding the government of at least $360,000.

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

A sign directs motorists to a COVID-19 testing site, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in Tukwila, Wash., south of Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Eviction protections in Washington extended to Oct. 31

Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday the state’s eviction protections will be extended beyond Sept. 30.

In photo provided by the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, an Asian Giant Hornet wearing a tracking device is shown Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 near Blaine, Wash. Scientists have discovered the first nest of so-called murder hornets in the United States and plan to wipe it out Saturday to protect native honeybees, officials in Washington state said Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Karla Salp/Washington Dept. of Agriculture via AP)
4th murder hornet nest destroyed in northwestern Washington

Another nest of Asian giant hornets found close to the Canada border has been destroyed.

King County workers get more time for COVID-19 vaccine

The agreement, which covers about 10,000 workers, gives some slack for those who have been hesitant.

Most Read