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Client Stories

Breean Beggs v. State of Washington

Tyler DeLeon died of starvation on his seventh birthday.  At the time of his death, his bruised and battered body weighed just 28 pounds having been systematically starved and abused by his foster mother, Carole DeLeon.

Inexcusably, Tyler DeLeon was one of many children placed in the DeLeon home despite the fact that Ms. Delone had previously lost her foster care license when DSHS determined that she had abused and starved foster children in her home.

In addition, some of the surviving plaintiffs alleged that their doctors failed to report obvious signs of neglect, abuse, and starvation.

This case resulted in an appeal heard by the Washington State Supreme Court, the result of which clarified the law allowing health care providers to be sued solely for their failure to report suspected signs of abuse under RCW 26.44 as distinguished from medical malpractice actions. Beggs v. DHSH 171 Wn. 2d 69.

In 2012, DSHS settled their portion of the case for $6,100,000.

In 2013, a confidential settlement was reached with one of the children’s doctors.

Stokes v. State of Washington

Two children were starved and abused by their step mother, Rebecca Long, over a three year period. The State ignored ample warnings provided by teachers at the children’s schools.

Ressler & Tesh obtained a settlement of $4,600,000.00 for the two minors.

Coster v. State of Washington

Four foster children suffered physical and sexual abuse in an unlicensed foster home on the Nooksack Indian Reservation. The children were placed in the home due to a lack of communication between DSHS and the Nooksack Indian tribe. As a result of this case, the children received compensation in the amount of $5,050,000. In addition, the case resulted in changes in the information sharing procedures between DSHS and various Native American service agencies.

J.L. and L.L. vs. DSHS

Two young children were sexually abused in their biological home and then placed by DSHS in the home of Nancy and Richard Wheeler where they were sexually abused by another minor. The children obtained a settlement of $1,825,00 which was used to purchase annuities which will provide support and counseling for the children over their lifetimes.

J.T.B. and A.B.B. v. State of Washington

DSHS placed two children into the Thurston County home of Tony and Linda White. DSHS was aware that Tony White had been previously accused of sexually abusing minors on numerous prior occasions. Nonetheless, DSHS placed the then 4 and 6 year old children in the home where they were sexually abused.

The children’s claims were settled for $1,120,000.

Murray v. State of Washington

Having previously terminated the parental rights of James and Tracy Wright, the State nonetheless allowed them to care for four Oak Harbor children where they suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse. Ressler & Tesh obtained $1,500,000.00 to provide future care and counseling for the children.

Wenger v. State of Washington

Four children were placed into an abusive home where they were abused both physically and sexually by their foster (and later adoptive) parents. DSHS later admitted that they failed to adequately vet the Wengers prior to licensing them as foster parents. The four children received a global settlement of $5,300,000.00.

M.R. v. State of Washington (Settled prior to filing)

A six year old boy was removed from his biological home by DSHS and placed in a foster home with sexually aggressive teens. He was sexually abused by a thirteen year old foster sibling before being returned to his biological mother. Ressler & Tesh obtained $375,000 for the child.

Mann v. State of Washington

A four year old girl was beaten to death by her father and her step-mother in their Spokane area home. Ressler and Tesh represented the child’s mother and obtained a settlement for $269,500.00.

$9,000,000

Settlement with DSHS/State of Washington for 6 siblings sexually and physically abused by their parents.

$2,500,000

Settlement with DSHS/State of Washington for the sexual abuse of a minor.