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$525,001 Settlement in Washington Public Records Suit Involving Abused Minors

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services paid $525,001 to settle the lawsuit of Estera L. Tamus, Ruth S. Tamus and M., a minor, for failing to provide public records upon request.

Estera, Ruth and M. claimed they were sexually abused for years by foster parent Enrique Fabregas. During a search of Fabregas’ home in February 2006, police discovered hundreds of pornographic photos, including some depicting Fabregas abusing Estera, Ruth and M. Fabregas received four years in prison for sex crimes against minors.

The plaintiffs submitted public records requests for various public documents to DSHS and Child Protective Services trying to determine why the agency did not remove the three girls from Fabregas’ care even though the agency had received 28 separate complaints regarding Fabregas, and were also aware of his criminal history.

The defendants claimed the requested records were exempt from disclosure and were not public records.

Estera, Ruth and M. accepted settlement on November 4th, 2009, receiving $175,000, with M. receiving $175,001. They were represented by Seattle, Washington Attorneys David P. Moody, Martin Mclean and Anthony D. Shapiro. See: Tamus v. Department of Social and Health Services, Washington State’s King County Superior Court, Case No: 08-2-02570-5, 2009 WL 5715375.

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Related legal case

Tamus v. Department of Social and Health Services