Town’s excess insurance carrier declared insolvent

Citing insolvency by the town’s excess insurance carrier, the legal firm representing Wilton in the Girl Doe v. Wilton Board of Education Et Al lawsuit has filed for a continuance in a jury trial scheduled for this September. The insurance carrier Castlepoint National Ins. Co., was declared insolvent effective April 1. An order of liquidation has been approved by the Superior Court of the State of California.

In its motion dated April 28, Howd & Ludorf, representing the town and Board of Education, requested the jury selection and trial be continued to Oct. 30, 2017. The firm has also filed a motion of summary judgment on behalf of the town and board. 

Judge Douglas C. Mintz has granted to motion for continuance to Oct. 18, and the jury trial is continued to Nov. 1, 2017.

Both the town and Board of Education are being sued by a Wilton family that alleges their daughter was sexually molested in December 2012 by former paraprofessional Eric Von Kohorn when she was a student at the Miller-Driscoll preschool.

According to First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice, Connecticut Insurance Guaranty Association (CIGA) has assumed responsibility for the claim. According to its website, CIGA is part of a nonprofit system, created by state statute, that pays certain covered claims of insolvent insurance companies’ policyholders and claimants. It is funded by assessments of member insurers following an insolvency. There is a limit to how much coverage CIGA will provide, but as of Monday afternoon, Vanderslice did not have that exact amount.

The town actually dropped Castlepoint, which is a subsidiary of Tower Insurance, in January 2014 when its rating was downgraded from A- (excellent) to B+ (good), Vanderslice told the Bulletin on Monday, May 1. The town’s current excess insurance provider is Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America, a subsidiary of ACE Insurance, which is now known as Chubb Insurance following a merger of ACE and Chubb in 2016.

"At the time of our last renewal and now, Chubb is rated as superior" by the insurance rating firm AM Best, Vanderslice said.

Argonaut Insurance Co. is the primary liability insurer for both the town and Board of Education. Coverage is $1 million per incident. Argonaut is rated A (excellent).

Although the town dropped Castlepoint as its insurer more than three years ago, it was the town’s carrier at the time the alleged incident central to the lawsuit took place.

(This story has been updated to include new information about the judge's decision.)