The estate for Maren Sanchez, a Milford, Connecticut teenager who was stabbed to death at her school, has reached a $5 million with the City of Milford resolving claims that the school district failed to properly respond to the threat posed by the boy who killed her.
Sixteen-year-old Maren was killed by a fellow student at Jonathan Law High School on the day of her junior prom in April 2014. Police said the killer, Christopher Plaskon, was upset that Sanchez rejected his prom invitation. Plaskon, now 20, is serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Sanchez’s mother, Donna Cimarelli filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Plaskon, his parents, the city and the school district. In 2017 Plaskon and his parents agreed to settle the lawsuit allegations against them for $1.6 million.
According to the attorney representing the estate, the settlement reached with the city of Milford refused the city’s motion to dismiss the case, finding that the estate had substantial evidence to support its claim that school counselors failed to comply with key points of school district policies adopted to prevent school violence.
Maren went to counselors to report concerns about Plaskon’s behavior, the estate showed, but counselors failed to follow district policy for handling students who may commit violent actions.
The estate also presented expert testimony that suggested that had the school system intervened with Plaskon after Sanchez’s reports, proper treatment could have prevented the attack.
Cimarelli released the following statement in light of the settlement.
“It has been almost six long years since Maren was stolen from us. This journey has been one of insurmountable anguish and grief, as well as hope. The physical loss of such a vibrant, loving, magnificent magical soul that was Maren is something that no lawsuit can ever make up for. During this difficult time, we have chosen to focus our energies on the efforts of the Foundation that proudly bears Maren’s name, The Maren Sanchez Home Foundation. Our mission – then, now and forever – will be to educate and empower young women by helping to provide them with the tools they need to defend themselves against emotional, physical and psychological manipulation and abuse. Maren lives on through her Foundation, which will pay it forward by continuing its work in the hope that the events that led to her tragic and brutal death, which could have been prevented had mandatory reporting procedures been followed, never happen again.”
Cimarelli founded the Maren Sanchez Home Foundation in her daughter’s honor, which works to give young girls the tools to defend themselves against psychological and emotional manipulation that could put them in danger of violence.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to the City of Milford for a response to the settlement. We have not yet heard back from them.