L.A. County May Be Near $2.63 Million Settlement in Gabriel Fernandez Case

Los Angeles County may be on the verge of settling a lawsuit brought by the family of Gabriel Fernandez, the 8-year-old Palmdale boy who was beat to death by his mother and her boyfriend in 2013.

Attorneys for the family and the county will appear in a Lancaster court on Monday in a hearing to determine whether to dismiss the case because of a settlement. Earlier this month, two county claims boards recommended that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors pay $2.63 million to settle the claim.

In May 2013, Gabriel was found with a fractured skull, several broken ribs, cigarette burns and with BB pellets embedded in his chest and groin.

The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Sheriff’s Department were both aware of claims of abuse in the home but failed to intervene.

Outrage over the Palmdale boy’s death led to the formation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection and later, the Office of Child Protection.

In April, four former DCFS employees were also charged with felony child abuse and falsifying records in the Gabriel Fernandez case. They face up to 10 years in prison.

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Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change
About Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change 352 Articles
Jeremy is a West Coast-based senior editor for The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at jeremyloudenback@chronicleofsocialchange.org.