The family of Jaycee Lee Dugard will receive a $20 million settlement from the state of California under an agreement approved by lawmakers Thursday.
The settlement was approved on a 70 to 2 vote in the state Assembly and a 30 to 1 vote in the state Senate. Spokesman Aaron McLear said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will sign the legislation.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnaped by a paroled rapist and subsequently gave birth to his two daughters.
Jaycee Lee, now 30, was on her way to school in 1991 when she was abducted from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood. She went missing until last August, when she was discovered living in a ramshackle Bay Area compound. The compound was owned by Phillip Garrido — the man charged with her kidnap and rape.
As seen in the July 2 Los Angeles Times article titled “Jaycee Lee Dugard’s family will receive $20 million from California” :
Two months after Dugard and her daughters were found, a prison watchdog group reported that state parole officers had failed to properly supervise Garrido for a decade and had missed obvious clues that could have led them to the three victims much earlier.
In claims filed against the state in January, the family said that “various lapses by the Corrections Department” contributed to “Dugard’s continued captivity, ongoing sexual assault and mental and/or physical abuse.”
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) called the settlement “prudent.” As a former head of the state parole board for serious offenders, Nielsen said he voted for the settlement because “it will end the legal vulnerability of the state and hopefully bring comfort to the families that they won’t have to have protracted litigation.”
Nielsen acknowledged that the state could have faced legal liabilities “vastly beyond $20 million” if the case had gone to court. He lamented Dugard’s 18-year abduction and blamed the state’s correctional system for lapses that extended the young woman’s ordeal.
“It was a failure of the administration of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and their woeful disregard of statute and regulation,” he said.
The payment was recommended by the state Department of Justice and approved by the governor’s budget office. An analysis of the settlement bill noted that, although the state corrections department denied the allegations and typically had legal immunity from such claims, the Dugard case “had a unique and tragic character,” including “missed opportunities to identify Ms. Dugard” during her captivity.
According to the two-month investigation of the Garrido case, the convicted rapist had at least six different parole agents over a decade and was barely supervised for several years after the state began monitoring him.
Weinstein noted, however, that Dugard was abducted and raped when Garrido was under federal supervision. When asked whether a federal lawsuit is in the works, Dale Kinsella, Dugard’s attorney, declined to comment.
Additional details on the story can be found in the July 2 Los Angeles Times article titled “Jaycee Lee Dugard’s family will receive $20 million from California.”