Settlement agreements have been reached in a lawsuit filed by the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard on behalf of a victim of Wrestling Coach and Youth Group Leader Kevin Lopez.
SAN JOSE, CA – JANUARY 10, 2019 — The law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard is announcing a $1.548 million settlement resulting from sexual abuse committed by convicted wrestling coach and youth group leader Kevin Lopez. Attorney Lauren Cerri represented the victim in his lawsuit against both the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and New Life Church of Alamo.
The lawsuit alleged that one year before Lopez was arrested, the administration at California High School in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District violated mandatory reporting laws by failing to report suspected sexual abuse and by conducting its own investigation after receiving two complaints about Lopez’s sexual improprieties. The District agreed to settle the case against it for $699,000.
In the case against New Life Church of Alamo, “evidence revealed that the Church received numerous complaints about Lopez’s red flag grooming behavior and not only ignored the warning signs but also allowed Lopez to chaperone kids to camps and mission trips in California and Mexico,” said Cerri. “Lopez was seen cuddling in bed and ‘spooning’ with our client in Mexico and the Church did not report the incident. It took no action whatsoever to stop the easily preventable sexual abuse that occurred after that trip. “
The Church’s insurance company agreed to pay $849,000 to settle the case, $549,000 more than the $300,000 sexual abuse insurance coverage that its insurance policy provided. The Church also reevaluated and strengthened its child protection policies as a result of the abuse.
“Insurance companies continue to pay for the sexual abuse caused by the negligence of school districts, churches and other institutions that are failing to protect our children,” stated Cerri. “We hope to start seeing school districts and churches taking steps to develop and implement child sexual abuse prevention training rather than relying on insurance companies to pay for the tragic results,” added Cerri.
Lopez, former California High School Head Wrestling Coach and New Life Church Youth Group Leader, pleaded guilty in 2015 to eight felonies for lewd acts on boys and is serving a prison sentence of 10 years and eight months.
The San Jose law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard has represented numerous child sexual abuse victims in the Bay Area and around the country.