Capping lengthy closed meeting consultations with legal counsel, the Brainerd School Board announced Monday it has agreed on a $100,000 lawsuit settlement to a former high school student.
The lawsuit was served on the school district in March of 1998. It was filed by a former high school student and named former teacher Tim Martin and the Brainerd School District as defendants relating to Martin's conduct and the school district's alleged liability during Martin's tenure as a high school girls' basketball coach.
The district agreed to pay the student a one time payment of $100,000. The board decided it would be in its best interest to reach a mutual agreement to resolve the matter before a trial would begin.
The board also said in a statement it regrets the situation that has been a traumatic and unfortunate experience for the student and family.
"While admitting no wrongdoing in regard to the allegations, we thought it prudent to limit any further financial expense to the district as well as the student," board member Ruth Gmeinder said of what the board agreed upon.
The school district's insurance carrier, St. Paul Fire and Marine, informed the board that it has no intent to participate in the payment to the student.
The board disagrees with the carrier's position and believes the company has a contractual obligation under the district's policy to pay the settlement in full.
The board plans to bring legal action against the insurance carrier to enforce the contract's terms of the policy.
The purpose of this action is to recover the settlement money and the district's attorney fees in full from the company. Richard P. Mahoney, of Mahoney, Dougherty and Mahoney in Minneapolis, will represent the district.
In 1997, Martin, a basketball coach at the time, provided alcohol to several players on the team during a tournament, and had what was later charged as fifth-degree criminal sexual contact with a player.
Martin was later sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years of probation after he pleaded guilty to four counts of gross misdemeanor furnishing alcohol to minors, and a charge of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which is also a misdemeanor.
His teaching license was also revoked.
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