Scared Girl Hiding Behind Her Mother

J.M. v. DSHS – $3,100,000 Settlement

About the case

PCVA attorneys Darrell Cochran, Loren Cochran, and Cole Douglas reached a $3,100,000 settlement with the State of Washington for the abuse suffered by a little girl in Vancouver, Washington. DSHS placed the then state-dependent two-year-old girl into the custody of her biological father even though DSHS social workers knew about the father’s previous conviction for Child Rape in the Second Degree.

Following termination of dependency by the State, the father had unfettered access to his daughter for a four year period in which he routinely sexually abused her. The little girl was finally removed from her father’s care after she disclosed her abuse to other children on her bus.

PCVA filed suit against the State of Washington and DSHS in 2016 alleging that the little girl never should have been placed in the sole, unsupervised custody of her child rapist father. PCVA also argued that DSHS, who controls the flow of information to the court, failed to disclose and materially misrepresented other pertinent information about the biological father prior to the Court’s ruling on dependency. The case quickly settled after the State’s motion for summary judgment was denied.


  • Settlement: $3,100,000

Cause Number

  • Clark County, No. 16-2-02502-5



News Coverage

Sidewalk in Downtown Seattle, WA