Milford to pay $5 million to family of teen murdered on prom day in settlement

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The city of Milford has reached a settlement with the family of the 16-year-old high school student who was murdered by a classmate in 2014.

The settlement was reached after a Superior Court judge refused to grant the city's motion to dismiss the case, according to a release from an attorney for Maren Sanchez's estate.

The city of Milford will pay Sanchez's family $5 million.

Christopher Plaskon was sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing Sanchez to death in a hallway at Jonathan Law High School. It was the day of their junior prom, April 25, which was canceled after Sanchez's death. Some students say Plaskon killed her because she rejected his invitation to prom.

The superior court judge found Sanchez's estate had enough evidence to support their claim that school counselors failed to comply with the mandatory provisions of school district policies adopted to prevent school violence, according to the release.

They say Sanchez went to her counselors to report concerns about Plaskon's behavior, but counselors failed to follow the Board of Education's policy for dealing with students with potential for violent actions. School principal Francis Thompson testified if counselors had notified administrators as was protocol, a clinical intervention team would have been formed to address Plaskon's condition and any safety concerns.

David S. Golub of the Stamford law firm of Silver Golub & Teitell LLP, attorneys for the estate, stated, "This settlement recognizes the importance of compliance with school anti-violence policies. Especially in these times where violence in schools is so prevalent, the school personnel's failure to comply with the mandatory provisions of the District's policy was inexcusable. This tragedy did not have to occur."

Below is a full statement from Sanchez's mother, Donna Cimarelli:

It has been almost six long years since Maren was stolen from us. This journey has been one of insurmountable anguish and grief, as well as hope. The physical loss of such a vibrant, loving, magnificent magical soul that was Maren is something that no lawsuit can ever make up for. During this difficult time, we have chosen to focus our energies on the efforts of the Foundation that proudly bears Maren's name, The Maren Sanchez Home Foundation. Our mission – then, now and forever – will be to educate and empower young women by helping to provide them with the tools they need to defend themselves against emotional, physical and psychological manipulation and abuse. Maren lives on through her Foundation, which will pay it forward by continuing its work in the hope that the events that led to her tragic and brutal death, which could have been prevented had mandatory reporting procedures been followed, never happen again.

Cimarelli started The Maren Sanchez Home Foundation following her daughter's death. It aims to educate and empower young women to defend themselves against physical and emotion violence and abuse.


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