Typical Wrangling

Horace Mann Sues Insurers to Cover Abuse Liability
Horace Mann, the elite Bronx private school rocked last year by allegations of sexual abuse, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against three insurers in an effort to recoup over $1 million in legal fees, damages and settlements paid to two victims.

The lawsuit, filed by the school’s lawyers in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accuses three insurance companies — Granite State Insurance Company, New Hampshire Insurance Company and Chartis Claims Inc. — of reneging on contracts with Horace Mann to compensate expenses related to liability claims, including those of sexual abuse.

Allegations of widespread sexual abuse by school officials that spanned decades were first revealed in an article in The New York Times Magazine in June 2012. Since then, more than 30 former students have come forward with claims of abuse.

A school spokesman said this year that Horace Mann had reached settlements with the “great majority” of victims, but no dollar amount has been released publicly.

According to the lawsuit, which was first reported by The New York Post, the insurers denied coverage because of a failure by the school to provide timely notice of the claims or to cooperate in negotiations over the disputed contracts.

The school denies this, and has asked for at least $1.05 million in compensation.

“In contrast to the school’s other insurers, these insurance companies have refused to honor their policies with Horace Mann, so the school had no choice but to bring this lawsuit,” the school said in a statement.