What role does insurance play in a sex assault or abuse lawsuit in Pennsylvania or New Jersey?
In many sex assault or sex abuse lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, parties other than the criminal perpetrator will be sued. Under tort or negligence laws of both states, any business or nonprofit entity may be held liable when its conduct results in an injury. This includes criminal acts such as sexual assault or sexual abuse.
Schools, churches, medical facilities, commercial businesses and even residential landlords may be held liable for a sexual assault/abuse that occurs on the property or is otherwise committed by an employee while off the property. The key in holding a private or public entity liable is proving that the assault or abuse happened because of some action taken (or failure to act) by an employee.
When these types of business or nonprofit entities are held liable, insurance policies often provide a source of financial recovery for a victim.
How Commercial Insurance Works in Sex Assault or Abuse Lawsuits
The vast majority of business or nonprofit entities purchase general liability insurance policies which cover injury to another party as a result of the operation of the business. For example, a commercial store’s insurance policy would probably cover a situation where a customer fell in the store because of spilled liquid on the floor that wasn’t cleaned up due to negligence of the store’s manager. The key is the store manager’s negligence, failing to do something he or she should have done.
The same principle applies in civil lawsuits for sex assault or sex abuse in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. A school or church may be liable for failing to prevent sexual assault or abuse by an employee such as a teacher or priest. The same principle would also apply to a case of sex abuse by a medical professional such as a doctor, nurse or physical therapist. A hospital or other medical facility that employed the perpetrator could be liable.
If there is sufficient evidence of negligence, the insurance company would be contractually obligated to pay the victim, up to the amount of the coverage purchased under the policy. Oftentimes, these types of insurance policies provide up to $1,000,000 of coverage or more.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Sex Assault/Abuse Lawyers – We Represent Victims
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