Darrell Cochran and Chris Love finalized a $25-million covenant judgment settlement, one of the largest in state history, with Olympia Early Learning Center on behalf of six survivors who were sexually abused by a caregiver at the day care. Covenant judgment settlements allow plaintiffs to recover the full amount of their damages directly from the defendant’s insurance company, regardless of a defendant’s insured amounts.
The court entered an order after a year-long hearing, determining that settlements totaling nearly $25 million were reasonable despite strong opposition from the day care center’s insurance company.
“This case is remarkable on so many levels,” said Darrell. “A well-known Olympia day care flagrantly ignored the concerns of parents for several years that it employed a dangerously twisted pedophile and then the insurer left them completely defenseless in the heat of the lawsuit.”
From 2008 – 2011, the facility employed a man by the name of Elisha Tabor in a variety of roles that provided him unfettered access to children, often one-on-one. Despite knowing that Tabor posed a threat to children, appropriate disciplinary action was not taken by day care leadership. After his eventual arrest, he was labeled an indiscriminate pedophile.
“We’re extremely pleased with the court’s approval of these settlements because it vindicates the lifelong trauma and severe damages of survivors and rejects insurance companies’ attempts to revictimize them through delay and denialism,” said Chris Love. “This settlement opens a path for survivors to achieve a truly meaningful recovery for their harms in the all-too-common confluence of defendants woefully underinsured against the epidemic of sexual abuse and insurers putting profit-mongering above all else.”
PCVA partners Darrell Cochran and Chris Love fought ferocious opposition from the facilities insurance company for the past decade. Although the day care was severely underinsured and lacked any assets to meaningfully compensate the survivors and their families for what they experienced, the court’s ruling allows the plaintiffs to enter judgment for the settlement amounts and pursue recovery of the full amount in bad faith litigation against the insurer.
“It’s been a long journey for the children who were abused but we were not going to give up; the court’s order last week felt like sweet redemption to me,” said Darrell.