Partner Jonathan Mincieli secured a $2 million settlement for 13-year-old “Jane Doe” who was sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old farmhand at a farm and recreational facility, where she was enrolled in a program.
Jane Doe aspired to be an Olympian. She chose a facility that she and her parents thought could train her to succeed. Instead, she spent day after day in the barn, cleaning stalls with the farm’s adult, male farmhand. No one supervised the farmhand who sexually assaulted Jane on multiple occasions. He was only able to do it because he knew no one would be checking on him. Instead, the farm owners were busy operating their other businesses out of an office at the farm. Mr. Mincieli was able to establish through depositions that the farm owner spent her days in the office running two other companies and that her daughter, who was a trainer at the farm spent her time riding and developing her own skills. Literally, no one was supervising Jane or the farmhand.
The farm’s insurance carrier initially refused coverage for the abuse, offered a minimal settlement, and threatened to file a lawsuit in federal court seeking a ruling that there was no insurance available to cover Jane’s damages. The insurance company pressured Jane Doe that if she didn’t accept the small settlement it offered, she risked getting nothing at trial. When the carrier filed its lawsuit, Mr. Mincieli named the owner of the farm personally as a defendant, knowing that there would be covered if he did. As a result, the insurance company had no choice but to come to the table. Not only did the insurance company agree to mediation, but Mr. Mincieli also convinced the company to pay Jane the entirety of the $2 million policy.
“Insurance companies cannot bully victims into taking less than full value by threatening coverage lawsuits,” said Mr. Mincieli. “I am proud that Jane had the faith in us to fight through the threats to obtain this excellent result.”
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, you are not alone. Visit www.rainn.org to find an abundance of resources, including a free and confidential national sexual assault hotline available 24/7, to learn more about how to help yourself or others.