SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWYER SUES PARENTS OF ALLEGED JUVENILE PERPETRATOR. COURT RULES THAT PARENTS’ HOMEOWNERS’ INSURANCE POLICY NEED NOT COVER THE CLAIM
A sexual assault lawyer represents victims of sexual assaults. The sexual assault lawyer seeks to obtain compensation for his client from potentially responsible parties. Potentially responsible parties whom the sexual assault lawyer may sue include the perpetrator, of course. However, there may be other potentially responsible parties that the sexual assault lawyer will sue. Perhaps the sexual assault took place at a business premises that did not provide adequate security. Or perhaps someone who had a duty to supervise the alleged sexual assault perpetrator failed to do so.
One example of a failure to supervise is where a parent fails to properly supervise a minor. In a recent New Jersey court case, a sexual assault lawyer sued, among others, the parents of a juvenile. The juvenile, a male teenager, was accused of perpetrating a sexual assault upon a teenaged female. The alleged sexual assault took place in a faculty bathroom at the high school that the two teenagers attended.
Unfortunately for the parents whom the sexual assault lawyer was suing, their homeowners’ insurance company refused to cover the claim. That exposed the parents to the possibility of losing their home and other assets.
What eventually happened was that the sexual assault lawyer and his client agreed to accept a $350,000 settlement from the parents. The sexual assault lawyer and his client further agreed that they would not try and collect that money from the parents. Rather, the sexual assault lawyer and his client agreed that they would sue the parents’ insurance company for the money.
But an appeals court ultimately ruled that the insurance company did not have to pay. There was a clause in the parents’ homeowners’ insurance policy stating that the insurer did not have to cover claims of sexual assault.
The lessons here are twofold. First, always read your insurance policy, to see what is and isn’t covered. Second, if you or a loved one is the victim of a sexual assault, you must choose a very experienced attorney to represent you. I cannot criticize the sexual assault lawyer in the above case, as I do not have all the facts. That said, it is possible that the sexual assault lawyer made a mistake by agreeing to let the parents off the hook. A $350,000 judgment sounds nice. But, if you can’t collect on it, it is worth exactly $0.
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