Close this search box.

$27 Million Settlement Reached After Boy’s Brain Injury Death

MORENO VALLEY, California — In a landmark decision on March 31st, 2024, the Moreno Valley Unified School District has agreed to a $27 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought by the family of an eighth-grade boy who tragically lost his life after a vicious assault by two fellow students at a middle school in Southern California four years ago.

Diego Stolz was fatally struck with a sucker punch at Landmark Middle School in September 2019, an incident captured on video. The assault, perpetrated by two other students, caused Stolz to fall and hit his head against a pillar. Despite receiving medical attention, Diego succumbed to a severe brain injury nine days later.

Attorney Dave Ring, representing the Stolz family, emphasized that Diego’s brain injury death could have been prevented had there been a robust anti-bullying policy in place at the school, located approximately 65 miles east of Los Angeles.

While the school district declined to comment on the settlement, spokesperson Anahi Velasco confirmed via email that measures have been taken since the incident, including changes to the bullying reporting system and employee training. Additionally, the principal and vice principal of Landmark Middle School were replaced. According to the family’s wrongful death lawsuit, Diego had previously reported incidents of bullying to the assistant principal before the fatal assault occurred.

The perpetrators, both 14 years old at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty in juvenile court to involuntary manslaughter and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. They were detained in juvenile custody for 47 days, and although a judge opted not to impose additional jail time, they were mandated to undergo anger management therapy.

The settlement underscores the profound impact of school violence and the necessity for comprehensive measures to combat bullying in educational institutions, serving as a reminder of the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of students in schools across the nation.

Follow Us