Cold Spring Harbor School District Settles 2 Sex Abuse Claims

The Cold Spring Harbor school district has agreed to pay a total of $14 million to  settle two claims of sex abuse dating back 40 years.

In a letter to the community dated Aug. 8, the district said it agreed to pay one former student $8 million and the other $6 million for claims of abuse brought against two former teachers, both of whom are dead.

“We sympathize with these former students and acknowledge the gravity of the allegations,” the district letter read. Superintendent Jill M. Gierasch signed the letter.

The claims were brought under the Child Victims Act, which recognizes no statute of limitations.

There is no question that the sums are significant for the district. However, we strove to minimize the payments through negotiations over an extended period of time and by retaining expert legal teams with experience in CVA litigation
and sexual abuse,” the letter said. “Everyone from the district’s side recognized the seriousness of the allegations and the significant inherent financial risks to the district should either or both cases have gone to trial in what would have been before two separate juries in two separate trials.

“The Board’s goal is to pay the settlements in a manner which preserves the robust academic offerings to our students and has the least financial impact to the community. This includes vigorously litigating with the insurance carriers and advocating for state assistance. While the litigation with the carriers has not yet been settled, we will continue our efforts to fight as aggressively as possible.

“In the next 60 days, we are obligated to pay a total of $4.5 million to the two plaintiffs. Due to prudent fiscal planning, we will be able to make these initial payments utilizing the district’s unassigned fund balance.”

CVA Statement for website


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