$900,000 Settlement – Title IX, Wrongful Death
Romanucci & Blandin and Public Justice secured a comprehensive settlement that was called "stunning" by a higher education sexual trauma consultant, based on not only the high dollar amount but because of the other components to bring education, awareness and an improved Title IX process to the college involved. The settlement is between the family of student-athlete Fatima Larios and Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska, to build a lasting campus legacy for Fatima. She died by suicide on January 31, 2015, at age 19, during her sophomore year at Chadron State, after being stuck in a toxic cycle of dating violence with a fellow student-athlete. The lawsuit filed by the family claimed the college was aware of the violent relationship between Fatima and her boyfriend and missed critical opportunities to intervene, protect and educate, as required by a federal law known as Title IX. As part of the path forward from her tragic death, Chadron State is taking action to ensure that its students receive the support and protection they need to be safe and thrive at school.