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More Sexual Abuse Cases Filed Against City, PAL

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By Jorge Casuso

March 8, 2021 -- The high-profile attorney who won a $42.6 million settlement against the City last year has filed nine cases alleging additional plaintiffs were sexually abused while participating in a City run youth program.

The City Council will take up the new litigation, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, during a closed session on Tuesday. None of the cases reveals the plaintiffs' names.

All but one lists the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica (PAL) Police Activities League as defendants. The other case was filed against Roe #1 and Roe #2.

The cases come one year after the City Council voted unanimously on March 10, 2020 to settle sexual abuse claims filed by two dozen individuals who participated in PAL ("Santa Monica to Pay $42.6 Million to Alleged Victims of Sexual Abuse," March 10, 2020).

All but one of the cases stemmed from a series of alleged sex crimes committed by City employee and PAL volunteer Eric Uller between approximately 1987 and 1999.

Uller was arrested in October 2018 for lewd and lascivious acts with a minor 14 or 15 years old ("Santa Monica City Employee Arrested for Lewd Acts with a Minor," October 18 2018).

Uller -- a systems analyst for the Information Services Department who worked in the Public Safety building -- killed himself three weeks after his arrest ("Uller Found Dead in Apparent Suicide," November 15, 2018).

The lawsuits filed last year claimed the City and PAL failed to protect the plaintiffs from Uller and ignored warnings and covered up allegations against him.

The new slew of cases were fiiled by the same attorney, David Ring, a partner in the Los Angeles-based law firm Taylor & Ring who is a pioneer in sexual abuse cases.

The year before filing the Santa Monica lawsuit, Ring won or settled three high-profile cases ("Attorney Who Filed Complaint Against City, PAL Has Won High Profile Cases," March 13, 2019 ).

They includ a $45.4 million settlement awarded by a jury to a girl who sued LA County and its Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after being sexually abused for two years in an El Monte home.

Ring did not return calls for comment before deadline.

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