Friday, June 28, 2013


By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, LA Daily News |

6/28/2013 08:14:54 PM PDT  ::  Facing multimillion dollar sex-abuse settlements, Los Angeles Unified signed contracts Friday to buy five liability insurance policies for the next fiscal year starting Monday, but was unable to get coverage for molestation, officials said.

The premiums total $2.2 million -- about $1 million less than LAUSD paid this year -- but exclude coverage for molestation, a spokesman said. The policies also carry deductibles of $10 million each, compared with $3 million to $5 million for current coverage.

Details of the policies, including the names of the carriers and the total amount of coverage, were unavailable.

Los Angeles Unified has already been hit with claims from students and parents at Miramonte Elementary School, along with lawsuits by alleged victims of Paul Chapel at Telfair Elementary in Pacoima and Robert Pimentel at George De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington.

The district has already agreed to pay $30 million to settle claims with 58 alleged victims of former Miramonte teachers Mark Berndt and Martin Springer, who each are facing criminal molestation charges.

It also has offered to pay $17 million to settle 40 additional claims, although the plaintiffs' attorneys have indicated they'll reject the proposal.

The district had been counting on insurance to cover most of the costs, but one of its carriers filed suit this month in an effort to avoid paying the settlement. The lawsuit by Everest National Insurance Co., also names six other carriers that held LAUSD policies and asked a judge to determine their liability.

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