Insurance coverage: Insurer excused from obligation to defend and indemnify for a claim for sex abuse.

Insurance coverage: insurer excused from obligation to defend and indemnify for a claim for sex abuse.

Freeburg Community Consolidated School District No. 70 v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., 2021 IL App (5th) 190098 (April 8), held that an insurer lacked the duty to defend or indemnify a school district whose teacher was accused of molesting a student while in the sixth-eighth grades. The insurer relied in part on prior claims filed against the same teacher (also a coach). It was a claims made policy. The court held that this latest claim (John Doe 4) was part of the same or related series of facts as those claims previously made. Therefore, under the terms of the policy, it should be deemed to have been asserted before the policy was purchased, meaning that the insurance company had no duty to defend or indemnify the school district. This case is important both for risk managers purchasing insurance and those who represent victims of sex abuse.

For a copy of the decision or if you have questions about your rights under an insurance policy, get in touch with Thomas Patterson at 312-223-1699.

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