Victims of abuse at MacLaren Hall are bringing lawsuits for compensation. Victims suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse while staying at the facility run by the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services.
Today, victims are making their voices heard by taking legal action. They are seeking compensation and recognition of the harm that they have endured.
Tribeca Lawsuit Loans is proud to partner with MacLaren Hall victims and with other abuse survivors. Contact us to learn more about our lawsuit loans and how we help victims on the path to justice.
What is the Lawsuit for MacLaren Hall?
The lawsuit for MacLaren Hall is brought by victims who suffered abuse while staying at the foster care facility in Los Angeles County. Although it was meant to be a place where children were protected, the facility was often a place where children encountered brutal abuse. The lawsuit is intended to seek accountability for offenders and justice for the victims.
What Happened at MacLaren Hall?
At MacLaren Hall, children were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. When children bravely reported the abuse, they were often punished, and the abuse was covered up. Abuse of children continued for decades at the facility until lawsuits resulted in its closure.
The more than 60,000 children in California’s foster care system depend on the state to provide a safe place to live. Over the decades that MacLaren Hall operated, tens of thousands of children made their way to MacLaren Hall, for what was meant to be temporary accommodation. These children expected their needs to be met. The children rightfully expected safe living conditions.
What they encountered was horrific abuse – abuse that was allowed to continue, and abuse from which the children could not escape.
What Can MacLaren Hall Victims Do?
If you are a victim of abuse while staying at MacLaren Hall, you may participate in a lawsuit to claim financial compensation. Claims are ongoing now, seeking financial compensation and institutional changes to prevent abuse. If you stayed at MacLaren Hall, you may be a part of a claim.
Tribeca Lawsuit Loans wants to help. We empower plaintiffs to bring their claims by providing immediate cash before a settlement is reached. Contact us to learn more and begin your case.
History of MacLaren Hall
MacLaren Hall opened to children in 1961. It was meant to be a temporary shelter for children facing abuse or neglect. Children were meant to only stay there temporarily until they could be placed in foster care or returned home.
Children could be brought to the facility if they were removed from a home on an emergency basis, or after a removal hearing. In California, officials may remove a child from their home if it is necessary to keep the child safe. At a hearing, the agency seeking removal must prove that it is necessary to remove the child because of a substantial danger to the child’s physical health, well-being, emotional health or because of sexual abuse without a reasonable means to protect the child without removal.
Tens of thousands of children were brought to the facility during the decades that it operated. Although the California 30 Days to Family® program requires the state to provide notice to relatives within 30 days of a child’s removal, with the goal of facilitating kinship placements, children often languished in the facility for one year or more. Whether they stayed for a short time or for a long time, children often encountered horrors at the hands of those who were meant to protect them.
Abuses at the facility took a variety of forms. Children were subjected to sexual assault, battery and molestation. They were physically abused. Overcrowding and inadequate living conditions ran rampant in the facility. Children who were at the facility because of abuse or neglect were housed with children who were in the system because of juvenile delinquency and children who had profound mental health needs.
Victims didn’t have an effective way to report or stop the abuse. When they spoke out, they were often punished. Widespread violence continued unchecked in the facility.
In the 1980s, there were some reports of misbehavior at the facility. Reports of drug sales and child abuse reached the press, and prompted minor improvements. However, the trauma continued. Children who sought help were simply ignored or even punished. It wasn’t until lawsuits began in the early 2000s that offenders and their enablers were made to account for what occurred.
Lawsuits are continuing to be filed today. Tribeca Lawsuit Loans is partnering with victims to enable them to seek justice as they rebuild their lives in the aftermath of abuse.
Types of Abuse at MacLaren Hall
Children at the facility were often subjected to horrific sexual abuse. Two victims say their abuse included penetration, molestation and other forms of sexual abuse. The victims describe being treated like “garbage.” Children kept silent in the face of abuse to avoid punishment for speaking up.
Physical abuse, assault and battery
Victims say that they were subjected to beatings and other forms of physical abuse. Children were placed in restraints even though use of restraints violated policy and the children had done nothing to deserve the treatment.
The children who were abused at MacLaren Hall suffered mental injury. Victims may experience anxiety, flashbacks, difficulty in employment and personal relationships, difficulty regulating mood and other emotional harm.
Young children were not diapered regularly. They could be heard crying into the night.
Children’s medical needs were not sufficiently addressed. Some were overmedicated, given medication they didn’t need or not given sufficient medical attention.
Residents were not given adequate mental health care. Sometimes, mental health needs were identified but treatment was not provided.
Despite directives to find stable care for children in the foster system, children often remained at MacLaren Hall for one year or more. The facility was surrounded by a chain-link fence with barbed wire. Children were monitored with floodlights in a facility that felt more like a prison than a home.
Inappropriate living conditions
Children at the facility because they were in state care were exposed to children with violent or delinquent behavior.
What Caused the Abuse at MacLaren Hall?
There may have been several contributing factors to the abuse that occurred at MacLaren Hall. A lack of background checks resulted in dozens of employees working at the facility that should have been disqualified. Inadequate funding and a lack of leadership in developing other options for children caused overcrowding and long-term placements that were never intended. In addition, a lack of accountability and complacency allowed offenders to continue abusing children.
Legal Basis for a MacLaren Hall Lawsuit
There may be several legal grounds for a MacLaren Hall lawsuit. Plaintiffs may claim that the government violated civil liberties when subjecting victims to abuse in the facility. Claims may be based on 42 U.S. § 1983, which gives victims the right to seek redress in court for deprivation of rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws. See United States v. Lanier, 520 U.S. 259 (1997).
In addition, a claim may be based on assault and battery, negligence, neglect, intentional infliction of emotional distress or negligent infliction of emotional distress. Having multiple causes of action doesn’t necessarily increase compensation. However, it can require defendants to address all the ways that they may have allowed harm to occur.
Victims of sexual assault should know that California lawmakers passed the Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, effective in 2023. The law revives claims of sexual assault occurring after January 1, 2009, that may otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. If you are a sexual abuse victim, you should know that there are time limits to bringing a claim. However, you should speak to a legal professional about the time limit that applies in your case, because California lawmakers have passed laws to allow more victims to seek justice.
How long do victims have to file a MacLaren Hall lawsuit?
Generally, MacLaren Hall lawsuit victims have until their 40th birthday to file a claim. However, they may have within five years of realizing the impact of what occurred to them and that they are a sexual assault victim. It’s important to contact a lawyer to determine the time frame for a victim to begin a claim.
Damages Suffered by MacLaren Hall Victims
Victims of abuse at MacLaren Hall have suffered physical and mental trauma. This trauma impacts their daily lives. Their suffering may include:
- Broken bones, bruises, internal organ damage, brain injuries and other physical trauma
- PTSD, flashbacks and nightmares
- Trust and relationship issues that impact their professional and personal lives
- Difficulty maintaining employment
- Anxiety, living in a state of high alert
- Social isolation, depression, feeling helpless
- Unexplained pain, chronic illness
- Substance abuse
Harm to victims may cause physical, mental and financial consequences. California law allows victims to seek economic and non-economic damages. Each case is unique, and a legal professional can complete a personalized case review to explain the compensation that may be available for a particular victim.
Outcomes for MacLaren Hall Lawsuit Claims
MacLaren Hall lawsuit claims may seek:
- Settlement compensation – A negotiated resolution that parties reach by agreement. A settlement fully resolves all issues in the case.
- Trial verdict – You have the right to have your claim heard in court. A judge or jury decides the case and the appropriate compensation.
- Reforms – you may seek an injunction or an agreement for the institution to change policies and practices. These changes can prevent harm to others.
Help for All Abuse Victims
Sadly, MacLaren Hall is not an isolated case. Too many children who are placed in the foster care system find abuse when they need protection. Tribeca Lawsuit Loans is committed to helping abuse victims. Lawsuit loans can help victims bring their legal claims.
If you have a pending lawsuit, Tribeca Lawsuit Loans may help you. You may receive your cash in as little as 24 hours. MacLaren Hall victims and all victims of abuse in foster care may qualify for our services. Contact us to learn more. Get a free consultation and quote. Get cash within 24 hours of approval.
MacLaren Hall FAQs
Is McLaren Hall in El Monte still open?
McLaren Hall in El Monte no longer houses children in foster care. The facility closed to residents after lawsuits brought by those who were sexually abused while they were minors living at the facility. Today, the facility is still used as child protective services offices for Los Angeles County. The offices are used for service and intake and for providing Parent in Partnership (PIP) program information.
When did MacLaren Hall close?
MacLaren Hall closed in 2003 as part of multiple lawsuits seeking closure of the facility. Victims bringing the lawsuits sought shuttering of the housing complex as part of their claims for justice. They were successful in bringing the facility to a close for housing foster children.
Where was MacLaren Hall?
MacLaren Hall was located at 4024 Durfee Avenue, El Monte, CA 91732. It sat on Durfee Ave between Ramona Blvd and I-10. It was north of I-10 in east Los Angeles.
Why did MacLaren Hall close?
MacLaren Hall closed when survivors came forward to bring a class action lawsuit alleging years of abuse at the facility. The shut down was part of a settlement from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
How much is the MacLaren Hall lawsuit?
Survivors filed lawsuits against Los Angeles County, with one claim resulting in a $20.6 million award. The lawsuit resulted from allegations that social workers failed to report the sexual assault of a child.
What became of MacLaren Hall?
Because of the lawsuits against MacLaren Hall, the facility closed as a center to house children. The County continues to use the site for other operations. In 2022, Prima Development requested approval to begin a construction project on the property including residential units, vocational training and a medical clinic.
Has the MacLaren Hall lawsuit been resolved?
While some MacLaren Hall lawsuits have been settled, others are still ongoing. A victim may still bring a claim, though they should be aware that time deadlines apply.