Pine Bush, NY - Insurer Denies $4.48 Million Claim In Pine Bush Anti-Semitism Lawsuit
Pine Bush, NY - After years of anti-Semitic harassment at the hands of fellow students, Pine Bush Central School District is finally forking over $4.48 million to settle an anti-Semitism lawsuit filed by five Jewish students, reports The Times-Herald Record (http://bit.ly/1RS6Y2j). Now, Pine Bush Central School District finds itself embroiled in another lawsuit – this time with their insurer, Utica National Insurance Group, which has declined to cover the $4.48 million claim.
Pine Bush Superintendent Joan Carbone said the school district has always been committed to “promoting tolerance” and revealed that Utica would not cover the proposed settlement. “The District and the District’s legal counsel firmly believe the claim should be covered, and therefore the District is proceeding with litigation against Utica National Insurance Group,” Carbone said in a statement. If the litigation against Utica is unsuccessful, the school district may have to raise the funds to pay for it through an increase in local taxes.
The initial lawsuit arose in 2012 after Jewish students alleged they were subjected to swastika graffiti, Holocaust jokes, and physical attacks because of their ethnicity, and that school authorities failed to respond to their constant complaints. An official settlement will not be reached until after both the plaintiffs and the defendant attend a hearing in U.S. District Court in White Plains, scheduled for July 9. A hearing is required because two of the litigants are still minors.
As part of the settlement, the school district also agreed to a federal monitor, and the implantation or expansion of anti-bullying and-discrimination policies to prevent future anti-Semitism. The district must also document any accusations of anti-Semitism. It must also maintain its “No Place for Hate” committee, the Anti-Defamation League curriculum, and seek counsel on policy issues from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights for the next three years.
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