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Laney v. County of Sacramento Dept. of Health and Human Services

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


April 28, 2009

SEAN LANEY; HEATHER IODACI; JACQUELINE GATES IN HER CAPACITY AS GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR MALACHAI LANEY, LIAM LANEY AND CONNER IODACILANEY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO DEPT. OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; DEANNA JOHNSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A SOCIAL WORKER FOR THE COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, CITY OF RANCHO CORDOVA; MATTHEW CURTIS, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A POLICE OFFICER FOR THE CITY OF RANCHO CORDOVA; ROBERT RENELLI, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A POLICE OFFICER FOR THE CITY OF RANCHO CORDOVA; DOES 1-20, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER APPROVING COMPROMISE OF MINORS' CLAIMS

Presently before the Court is the Petition to Compromise Minor's Claims*fn1 in this matter, brought by Jacqueline Gates in her capacity as Guardian ad Litem for the Minor Plaintiffs, Malachai Laney, Liam Laney and Conner Iodaci-Laney. The Minor Plaintiffs allege that they suffered both emotional distress and "reputational injury" due to the claimed actions of Defendants in investigating potential child welfare and/or endangerment issues, and in seeking to perform searches in connection with such issues.

Through mediation, the parties negotiated a settlement of this litigation in its entirety in the sum of $145,000. The Honorable Raul A. Ramirez (Ret.) assisted the parties in reaching that settlement, which includes an allocation of $45,000.00 to be split equally between the three minors and provides that each minor's share will be deposited in separate annuity accounts to be paid out in installments to the minors when they reach the ages of 18, 21, and 25, respectively. After subtracting 25 percent for attorney's fees, the net amount available for the purchase of each of the three annuities is $11,250.00.

The settlement was contingent both on the approval of this Court and by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. Defendants have filed a statement of non-opposition to Plaintiffs' Petition.

Having considered the Petition, and good cause appearing therefor, the Court finds that the proposed settlement is in the best interests of the minors and that the amounts requested for payment of attorneys is reasonable. Plaintiff's Petition is therefore GRANTED.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that upon approval of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to the settlement, defendants are hereby directed to deposit the sum of $11,250.00 for the benefit of Malachai Laney; the sum of $11,250.00 for the benefit of Liam Laney, and $11,250.00 for the benefit of Conner Iadaci-Laney in guaranteed annuities with the Hartford Life Insurance Company. The proceeds shall be payable to the minors in three installments at age 18, 21 and 25.

The funds deposited in the annuities shall not be withdrawn or hypothecated in any manner without prior order of this Court.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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