Tortured Lancaster Child Case Finally Settled
Recently, in collaboration with the Claypool Law Firm of Pasadena, California, we settled a case on behalf of the estate of the late Anthony Avalos.
Anthony was a ten-year-old boy from Lancaster, California, abused, tortured, and ultimately killed by his mother and her boyfriend in 2018.
We worked on behalf of Anthony’s father and several surviving siblings, securing a $32 million dollar settlement against Los Angeles County just days before the case would have gone to trial.
For five years — from 2013 to his untimely death in 2018 — Anthony was horrifically tortured and abused alongside a number of his siblings.
Thirteen calls were made from family members, teachers, and neighbors to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reporting signs of abuse.
We found that the DCFS had failed to conduct thorough investigations per their own rules, ignored their regulations requiring interviews of the children alone, and continued to ignore the children’s specific complaints about the beatings. Details of the extent of the abuse Anthony and his siblings endured can be found in our press release at the bottom of this newsletter.
While we are pleased to secure the settlement for Anthony’s surviving family members, our hearts are left with this — how does our nation, gifted with its resources, continue to fail our children?
Anthony suffered years of horrific, unthinkable abuse. Proper investigations should have alarmed a caseworker enough to pull him out of the home long before he died. Why wasn’t this done? And at this writing, we are only days removed from the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that took the lives of nineteen young children. Why didn’t we have policies that would have prevented such a tragedy in the first place? There is not enough being done for this next generation to grow up in a secure and safe future. The right resources are never adequately funded, and the proper legislation rarely ever makes it into law.
We must do better. We have to do better. We can do better!