District Allocates Over $27 Million to 58 of the Miramonte Victims
Hillel Aron | September 17, 2013
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LA Unified said today that more than $27 million has been allocated for 58 settlements with the parents of children who were suing the school district over allegations of sexual misconduct by teachers at Miramonte Elementary. That brings to 61 the number of financial settlements with two more awaiting final paperwork and 68 other cases that are still unresolved.
“We’re still hoping to settle these cases in a way that’s in the best interest of the children,” said Sean Rossall, a spokesman for the district’s legal team.
The $27 million comes from the district’s general fund, rather than from insurance coverage. That’s because one of LAUSD’s carriers, Everest National Insurance, is suing the district, claiming that its policies don’t cover the Miramonte abuse claims.
“We’re aggressively pursuing our insurers to hold them accountable for the coverage that they had agreed to provide the district,” Rossall said.
In 2012, veteran Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt was arrested and charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct. Another Miramonte teacher, Martin Springer, was charged with molesting a 7-year-old student in his class. A third teacher was charged with “aiding and abetting” Berndt. Superintendent John Deasy responded to the scandal, which attracted worldwide media attention, by replacing the entire staff of the school.
Previous posts: LAUSD Launches Miramonte Settlement Countdown; Ex-Miramonte Principal Martin Sandoval Was Reassigned To El Sereno Elementary School; Update: Teacher Dismissal Bill Heads to State Senate; Top District Lawyer Talks Lawsuits, Unilateral Action