Attorneys Darrell Cochran, Kevin Hastings and Bridget Grotz reached a $9 million settlement with Kiwanis International and several local Kiwanis Clubs on behalf of a group of plaintiffs, many of whom were wards of the state of Washington, who were sexually abused while placed in the Kiwanis Vocational Home (KVH) and then later Coffee Creek Center. During the time the plaintiffs were residents of KVH, they also experienced severe physical abuse and neglect at the hands of staff.
The plaintiffs, many of whom came from dysfunctional homes, were placed at KVH with the promise of protection from further harm and a therapeutic environment in which they could grow. However, rather than providing protection, the staff at KVH created and maintained the home as one of the worst and most dangerous group homes Washington has ever seen. The lack of oversight resulted in rampant and widespread abuse.
“For over 30 years, the dark and sinister story of child rapes and sexual assaults at KVH has lain entombed in a shroud of secrecy and shame,” said Darrell Cochran. “Like an archaeological dig, we needed to unearth this, study it’s horror, tell the truth about what happened so we learn from it and give these spirits a peace of mind to move forward.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington for Pierce County.