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Cuyahoga County jury awards plaintiffs $392,750, plus attorneys’ fees, in nanny-school sex-abuse cover-up case

CLEVELAND, OH—On June 16, 2015, following a five-week jury trial in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, plaintiffs Christina Cruz and Heidi Kaiser were awarded a combined verdict of $392,750 plus attorneys’ fees against defendants the English Nanny & Governess School, a nanny-training school and placement agency in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and its owners Sheilagh Roth and Bradford Gaylord.

Evidence at trial showed that the defendants retaliated against Ms. Cruz, one of their former students, and Ms. Kaiser, their former employee, when Ms. Cruz and Ms. Kaiser resisted the defendants’ efforts to suppress Ms. Cruz’s report that she witnessed the defendants’ client sexually abusing his nine-year-old daughter.

The jury awarded Ms. Kaiser $20,000 in compensatory damages and $54,000 in punitive damages on her claim for wrongful termination against English Nanny. The jury awarded Ms. Cruz $150,000 in compensatory damages and a combined $168,750 in punitive damages on her claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress against all defendants.

“The jury’s verdict affirms the importance of the strict standard for reporting child abuse,” said the plaintiffs’ lead attorney Peter Pattakos. “If you see something, say something. This case shows why we are called to such a high standard. As we’ve seen here, and in other high-profile cases across the country, it can be all too easy to look the other way when a child’s safety is at risk.”

More details about the case are included in the Cleveland Scene article linked here.

The suit, captioned Cruz, et al. v. English Nanny & Governess School, et al., Case No. CV-11-768767, was filed in 2011 in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

This is an edited version of a press release originally issued on June 17, 2015, posted at this website on September 26, 2017.