Wilton to pay $500K settlement in school lawsuit

Wilton Town Hall

Wilton Town Hall

Jeannette Ross / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — The town has agreed to pay a $500,000 settlement to parents who claimed their children were harmed by poor building conditions at a local school.

After an extensive executive session Wednesday between the Board of Selectmen, Board of Education and Board of Finance, the town authorized a settlement worth up to $450,000 in payment to Marissa and Chris Lowthert, relating to a lawsuit dating back to 2015 in which the town, school board and other officials were named as defendants.

An additional $50,000 will be paid to the plaintiff by the town’s insurance carrier as well.

In the original complaint filed in November 2015, the Lowtherts claimed “wet building conditions, poor ventilation, mold, high carbon dioxide and poor indoor air quality were well known to the Defendants, their teachers, staff and administrators at the Miller-Driscoll School and throughout the Wilton Public School system for a number of years,” which led to “injuries” to their children, who are also named as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit does not describe what the alleged injuries consisted of.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice read a prepared statement after returning from executive session Wednesday.

“Current and past elected board members, current and past town employees, Trial Counsel Thomas Gerard and members of his firm, Board of Education counsel Jessica Richmond Smith and Town Counsel Ira Bloom have collectively spent significant hours and effort over the last eight years related to this lawsuit,” she said. “We have consulted extensively with our lawyers, either as a board or as represented by the appropriate board chairs. We deny liability, but understand the risks associated with any jury trial and, upon the recommendation of trial counsel, we have chosen to settle this lawsuit.”

She continued to say that the agreement must be approved by the probate court

Vanderslice denied further comment Thursday.

Law firm Ford & Harrison LLP, who represents the Lowthert family, did not return requests for comment.