Assembly approves $20-million settlement with kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard [Updated]
The state Assembly Thursday approved a $20-million settlement for Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped and held captive for 18 years.
State justice officials have recommended paying the settlement, which still must be approved by the state Senate.
Phillip Garrido is accused of snatching Dugard when she was 11 from outside her South Lake Tahoe home. Since his arrest, officials have revealed he was being monitored by the state parole system for years and had at least five parole officers.
Some have questioned why none of the parole officers discovered the backyard prison where Garrido allegedly kept Dugard at his home in Antioch, Calif.
[Updated at 10:30 a.m.: Dugard and her two daughters had filed claims with the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
They accused the state of negligence, failure to discharge a mandatory duty and infliction of emotional distress, according to a legislative analysis. The $20-million settlement "would end any claims with the state," said Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D- Sylmar), the author of the bill, AB 1714.
The payment was recommended by the state Department of Justice and approved by the governor’s budget office. The bill analysis noted that while the state Corrections Department denies the allegations and typically has legal immunity from such claims, the Dugard case “had a unique and tragic character,” including “missed opportunities to identify Mrs. Dugard” during her captivity.
State attorneys had warned that damage awards by a jury could be “extremely high,” according to the analysis. “It is virtual certainty Mrs. Dugard and daughters will require counseling for rest of lives,” the analysis says. “Ms. Dugard’s daughters have received no formal education and neither is equipped to handle the academic or social challenges that school – and society -- will pose, nor has Mrs. Dugard received any education since her abduction."
[Correction posted at 11:37 a.m.: In an earlier version of this post, the word "require" was mistakenly rendered as "acquire" in this quote: “It is virtual certainty Mrs. Dugard and daughters will require counseling for rest of lives.”]
-- Shane Goldmacher
Photo: Photo of Jaycee Dugard before her kidnapping. Credit: Family handout