The family of the seven-year-old girl who was grabbed by Jack Doshay nearly three years ago has agreed to a “good faith settlement” of $500,000, to be paid by the Doshay family, according to court filings in their civil case. The judge in that case signed a “judicial determination” of that settlement on February 5.
The same judge, Ronald Frazier, had signed another document ten days earlier, on January 26, in which he approved the “compromise of disputed claim.”
The girls’ family filed a civil suit naming Skyline Elementary and Solana Beach School District, and that matter remains on the court’s calendar; the next hearing for the case is set for March 16, to confirm the trial date of April 13, 2018.
Michael and Joy Paeske, the parents of the little girl, hired the law firm of Chihak & Martel to represent them against the school district, which they assert is liable for Doshay’s attack on their child because the school failed to provide a safe school environment and allowed Doshay access to the campus where he made contact with the girl.
The girl was attacked by Doshay in March of 2015 when she was seven years old. Her parents agreed to a detailed agreement that was prepared by Paul Pfingst, the attorney for Doshay during the criminal case.
The agreement, found in court files, states that the total amount the Doshays will pay is $500,000. Of that amount, Chihak & Martel will get $125,000 in fees, plus a little over $18,000 in “costs.”
In addition, a lump sum of $28,530, described as “restitution” to the girl’s mother, Joy Paeske, will be paid. (It appears that Joy Paeske works as an estate attorney in Solana Beach.)
The balance of $328,402 will be disbursed this way: one check of $28,402 into a trust account controlled by the victim’s father; and $300,000 is to be put into a “single-premium deferred annuity for the benefit of the minor claimant as specified.”
That $300,000 annuity investment was detailed as a Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance product; the document states that a lump sum of $555,000 is “guaranteed” and payable to the now-minor victim in the year 2037, when she will turn 30 years of age. This arrangement was described as “a structured settlement.”
The Paeske lawsuit against the school district alleges that on March 23, 2015, at the end of the school day at about 3:00 p.m., the girl first walked out with other students to the area where the children were picked up by their parents. Then the second-grader walked with her teacher to the front office of the school, where she was reminded that she had an after-school chess-club meeting. The after-school class was located in the room directly adjacent to her regular classroom. The child began to walk back toward that classroom from the school’s office, by herself, a distance of about 300 feet. It was between 3:10 and 3:25 p.m. that the child was intercepted by Jack Doshay and brought to another area of the school, where he began to wrap her head and mouth with tape. The girl was able to scream and break free. Doshay later pleaded guilty to kidnap and assault, in a criminal case.
The law firm for the school district replies that two months before the incident, mother Joy Paeske signed a waiver agreement that released the school district from all liability in order that her child could participate in the “after-school enrichment program,” the chess club.
“Immediately after the end of the school day, Plaintiff was supposed to go directly from her class to chess club, which was located in the adjacent classroom. Plaintiff had participated in and walked to chess club on six occasions prior to the date of the incident. Prior to the date of the incident, there had been no prior attempted kidnappings, abductions, or prior similar criminal acts,” according to the law firm Winet Patrick Gayer Creighton & Hanes.
The Winet et al law firm, representing Solana Beach School District, insists that “The sole responsible party for this incident is the criminal defendant Doshay.” The law firm claims that Doshay’s actions were “not reasonably foreseeable” and “There is no reason why Plaintiff could not have proceeded safely from her regular classroom to her chess classroom located next door as she had done on multiple occasions before the day of the incident.”
To prepare for upcoming trial, the Winet et al. law firm asked the judge for one more “compelled deposition of plaintiff;” that is, they wanted to question the victim again.
But attorneys for the Paeske family pleaded for relief from this forced questioning: “(Victim) Paeske 7 year old the victim in an attempted kidnaping and rape was deposed on August 25, 2017. The deposition began at 9:39 a.m. and finished at 11:18 a.m. The deposition ended because this child was so distraught that she could not continue. She spent the last hour of the deposition hiding under the conference table with a hoodie over her face crying while Mr. Winet continued his interrogation. The event culminating the conclusion of the deposition was when (victim) stated for the umpteenth time “can we stop” and was told “no” by Mr. Winet. (Victim) then ran out of the conference room, out of the building, and into the street.”
The Paeske family’s attorneys claim they told Winet: “…any further questioning was only harassment…this child had suffered enough…defendant’s current motion has absolutely no purpose other than an attempt to intimidate this family from continuing an action against the school district.”
Judge Ronald Frazier issued an order to “compel deposition of plaintiff” on January 3; that deposition was to occur within the next 20 days.