The family of an 18-year-old girl who killed herself after her ex-boyfriend texted naked photos of her to classmates has received a $154,000 payout from the school who allegedly failed to protect her.
Jessica Logan hanged herself in her Cincinnati, Ohio bedroom in July 2008 after pictures she had shared with her former boyfriend were forwarded to four girls at Sycamore High School.
After the images began circulating around the school, Jessica became the victim of bullying and harassment from fellow students, causing her to repeatedly skip school, her parents said.
Her friend Lauren Taylor told NBC: 'She was being attacked and tortured. When she would come to school, she would always hear, "Oh, that's the girl who sent the picture. She's just a whore".'
After Jessica's death, her family argued in court that school officials had violated her constitutional rights by failing to stop the sexual harassment from other students.
Staff had been aware of the bullying, her parents said, but only offered to approach one 16-year-old girl and demand she delete the photographs and never speak to Jessica again.
An agreement to settle the claims was reached in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, with filings showing the total amount was $220,000, of which lawyers received $66,000, Cincinnati.com reported.
An attorney for the school district told the news service that the district's insurance company will cover the settlement, adding that they passed on their sympathies to the family.
The family's attorney, Jennifer Branch, said the settlement is fair to all parties and that a trial would have been difficult for Jessica's parents, who are satisfied with the payout but still suffering.
'I don’t think resolving litigation is going to help Jessica’s family and friends in their grief,' Branch said.
The couple had filed the lawsuit to recoup medical costs from psychiatric care that Jessie's mother sought after the suicide, and for the cost of Jessie's funeral and litigation arising from the lawsuit.
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