Moreno Valley Unified Will Pay Slain Student’s Family $27 Million
The family of a 13-year-old boy who was killed in a bullying incident four years ago has reached a $27 million settlement with the Moreno Valley Unified School District.
Diego Stolz was an 8th grade student at Landmark Middle School, where he had become the frequent target of bullying by a group of students. After his complaints, Stolz was fatally beaten by the group in an attack that was captured on video.
Stolz’s family sued Moreno Valley Unified, alleging a culture of bullying at the school and negligence by school officials. In response, the district, through a previous attorney, argued the Stolz family knew Landmark Middle was dangerous for their child and failed in their responsibility to take him out. The district later expressed contrition and fired that counsel.
“The family will always be heartbroken by Diego's death, but they hope this case sparks change in school districts across the country,” said attorney Dave Ring after the settlement. “Schools must realize that bullying can never be tolerated and that any reports of bullying or assault must be taken seriously. “Diego’s death could have been avoided if this school had simply prioritized an anti-bullying policy.”