Abuse Guardians Brian Kent and Jesse Forbes recently announced the settlement of a horrific case of child sexual and physical abuse at Miracle Meadows Christian boarding school in Harrison County, West Virginia. The settlement totaled $52,000,000 (fifty two million dollars) and was on behalf of 29 victims.
The statute of limitations is a legal countdown on the time limit in which a survivor of abuse can file a claim. If you or a loved one suffered sexual or physical abuse while at Miracle Meadows in West Virginia, then you must contact an attorney immediately to find out if your claim is allowed under the strict time limits. Do not delay. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation that will aide you on your road to healing.
The school is now closed, and this is a just outcome given the details of abuse uncovered in this civil litigation. The clients involved in the settlement reported several horrific incidences of abuse including:
The boarding school was founded in 1987 and was shut down in 2014. The school's purpose was to serve children between seven and seventeen years old who had behavioral issues. However, unfortunately the school breached its position of trust through the actions and omissions of administrators and certain staff. Unimaginable acts of cruelty and hardship were inflicted on the students over the years. This abuse was covered up and silenced by Susan Gayle Clark, the administrator of Miracle Meadows. Local government and law enforcement were aware of abuse allegations at the school as early as 1994, however due to the influence of administrators, a scorched earth tactic was implemented to ensure all investigations ended without a scandal emerging, which allowed the school to continue its reign of terror over its students.
Over the years evidence of abuse mounted. However, a challenge for local authorities was that the children often came from all over the United States and other countries. As soon as they made progress in their investigation, the child would be sent back home and the direct testimony became unavailable. Staff of Miracle Meadows were also sourced from other countries, and before they could be interviewed about what they witnessed, they would also be sent back and work visa terminated. This control mechanism enabled the school to continue operating in such a horrific manor for many years.
Finally, in 2014, West Virginia agencies had enough evidence to warrant storming the facility to secure the safety of the students. The school was forced to close and nineteen students were removed from the facility. The administrator, Susan Gayle Clark, was arrested and charged with child neglect, obstruction of justice, failure to report, and received a sentence of 6 months imprisonment and 5 years probation. Another lead teacher at Miracle Meadows, Mr. Timothy Arrington who was accused of choking and inflicting severe physical abuse on children, was also arrested.
Brian Kent, one of the lead attorneys stated:
"These were at-risk children, many with serious mental health issues often as a result of abuse or neglect in their childhood, being sent away hundreds of miles from home,” Kent said. “Their families hoped a stern, Bible-based boarding school would turn their lives around. Complaints were expected and made; however, Miracle Meadows monitored phone calls and mail to control complaints and successfully covered up the abuse by convincing others the children were lying. This enabled unfettered and horrific child abuse for decades. This lawsuit and settlement is vindication for these kids."
Guy D'Andrea commented that:
"For too long, Miracle Meadows was able to thwart the judicial system, allowing the systematic abuse of hundreds of children to continue for decades. This settlement represents justice for these victims and puts on notice any so-called school official who thinks they can get away with betraying the trust of the families and children in their care".
For more information on sexual abuse in boarding schools click here.