Cases & Deals

LAUSD secures trial victory in Los Angeles Superior Court against its insurers

Client(s) Los Angeles Unified School District

Jones Day represents Los Angeles Unified School District ("LAUSD") in seeking insurance coverage from multiple insurers in connection with highly-publicized claims against LAUSD that it negligently hired, retained, and supervised a former teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, who allegedly abused students, and for which the School District paid more than $180 million to settle claims. Prior to trial, Jones Day secured an important victory on summary adjudication, with the Court concluding that National Union had breached its duty to defend LAUSD in connection with the underlying abuse lawsuit, resulting in payment of over $20 million to LAUSD. With respect to the duty to indemnify, the Court concluded there was a triable issue of fact as to whether the plaintiffs in the underlying abuse case were pursuing claims for negligent hiring or retention of the teacher during the policy period (1979-1980) when they settled the underlying litigation. The case was set for a jury trial in April 2020. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions and other strategic considerations, the parties agreed to a hybrid bench trial, which consisted of three live court days for openings, closings, and testimony from certain witnesses, and two remote days for testimony from additional witnesses. On June 4, 2021, the Court entered its Statement of Decision in favor of the School District, finding that National Union breached its duty to indemnify the School District under the insurance policy at issue.

LAUSD, et al. v. ACE Property Casualty, et al., No. BC593234 (Los Angeles Sup. Ct)