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Lawyers argue against dismissal in molestation lawsuit

March 25, 2019

By Jeannette Ross, Wilton Bulletin, WILTON, CT (March 22, 2019) -- Attorneys for a family suing the Wilton Board of Education and the town of Wilton have responded to a motion for summary judgment submitted by the attorney for the defendants.

The family in the lawsuit John Doe PPA v. Wilton Board of Education Et Al alleges their son, who was 4 at the time, was molested by former Miller-Driscoll paraprofessional Eric Von Kohorn during the 2013-14 school year. The mother, father and child are plaintiffs in the suit filed Oct. 14, 2016.

Attorneys representing the town and Board of Education submitted a motion for summary judgment on May 2, 2018, claiming the town has immunity from liability for what it says falls under discretionary —and not ministerial — acts in the performance of public duties. The motion further claims the Board of Education does not owe a duty to the boy’s parents.

Paul A. Slager, the attorney for the family, put forth a compromise on Sept. 25, 2018. It suggested the child would receive $5 million and his parents would each receive $150,000.

In court documents filed March 11, 2019, in response to the motion for summary judgment, Slager points out the school district had already received a complaint about Von Kohorn but continued to allow him to work with young children. Slager represented another family that sued (Girl Doe PPA v. Wilton Board of Educaiton Et Al), alleging Von Kohorn abused their daughter. That suit was settled.

By allowing Von-Kohorn to continue to work at Miller-Driscoll, Slager argues, Wilton violated its ministerial duties and placed Boy Doe and others under threat of being sexually victimized. The school repeatedly failed to enforce its toileting policies which enabled Von Kohorn to take children into the bathroom alone, the response says.

This failure, the response says, has already been litigated in the Girl Doe case and Judge Lee of Stamford Superior Court decided there was sufficient evidence to defeat summary judgment on that issue.

This failure also posed a threat of imminent harm, the response says. Thus, the plaintiffs ask for the motion for summary judgment to be denied.

Should there be a trial, it is scheduled for Aug. 21, 2019.

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