Miracle Meadows, a former boarding school in rural West Virginia, has reached a $100 million settlement in lawsuits accusing the institution of subjecting students to beatings, rape, starvation, and solitary confinement, according to attorneys involved in the case.
Attorneys have announced a historic $100 million settlement for dozens of child abuse survivors who endured alleged routine beatings, starvation, and sex*al assault at a Christian boarding school. These survivors had filed a lawsuit against the now-closed Miracle Meadows School in rural West Virginia, citing a range of abuses, such as rape, prolonged solitary confinement, and denial of basic necessities like food and medical care.
In 2016, school co-founder Susan Gayle Clark pleaded guilty to child neglect charges and received a six-month jail sentence along with five years of probation, as reported by local media.
Local authorities had faced difficulties in their investigation due to students retracting their accusations upon returning to their families and staff members leaving the country before being questioned.
Attorney Jesse Forbes, in a statement announcing a settlement, described the children’s experiences as more horrifying than a Stephen King novel. Forbes emphasized that children should receive love, care, and nurturing, not endure abuse and isolation.
The lawsuit named Clark, the Columbia Union Conference Association of Seventh Day Adventists, Mountain View Conference Association of Seventh Day Adventists, and the North American Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church as defendants. These parties denied all allegations in response to the lawsuit.
Recently, the victims’ attorneys disclosed that settlements against the former school have now reached $100 million, marking one of the largest settlements of its kind in West Virginia.
These lawsuits, consolidated in a case initiated by a former student known as H.S. in October 2021 in Kanawha County Circuit Court, followed a previous $52 million settlement in 2020. Other lawsuits against the former facility remain pending, as per the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
The latest lawsuit also alleged that some students became pregnant after sexual assault and were subjected to abortions. Additionally, it claimed that children as young as 7 to 12 contracted sexually transmitted diseases due to assaults by staff members.