A Message from CEO Eric Lucas

I was reading an article that stated the Insurance Information Institute recently released a study indicating that California ranks in the bottom 10 percent of all states for liability systems and mentions California as one of the judicial “Hellholes” in the United States along with Illinois, New York and Florida.

You then have to ask the question “What about California garners this recognition?”  Certainly the lack of any state tort claim caps against public entities is a prime reason.  Did you know that 33 of the 50 states have tort caps for damages against public entities? 

What else could cause California to have such a negative light cast upon it?  One could look at the statute of limitations currently on the books regarding molestation.  As currently stands and in very simplistic terms, one could file a claim eight years from their 18th birthday or three years after they realize that physical or psychological injury has resulted from childhood sexual abuse, no matter what their age.  Despite this, the California legislature has, each of the past two years, placed a bill on the Governor’s desk to extend that statute of limitations to age 40. 

The Governor has vetoed both of those efforts using very judicial language in his message.  In paraphrasing he stated that organizations should be secure in the reasonable expectation that past acts are indeed in the past and not subject to further lawsuits. Additionally he notes that with the passage of time, evidence may be lost or disposed of, memories fade and witnesses move away or die.  He concluded by saying that there needs to be a compelling reason to lengthen the statute of limitations for civil claims against third parties --  here public entities – and he failed to see any evidence of such a reason in the most recent bill.

As SELF moves into its 4th decade of serving public education agencies in California, we have seen that the type of loss discussed here continues to occur and at an ever increasing rate.  The average cost to defend and settle one of these cases is now in excess of $1 million.  Each year the SELF Board examines the liability coverage limits currently offered to the membership in light of these and other catastrophic claim exposures.  One of SELF’s goals is to achieve the broadest coverage in terms of dollars for these exposures that our members face.  We are now more focused on that goal than ever before.

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Want higher limits than our basic core coverage? Check out our Optional Excess Liability Coverage -- Always Affordable & Always Optional. Now offering limits to $55 Million*(inclusive of SIR). Fill out an application or contact our office today for more information!

NEW INDUCTEE! Visit the SELF Risk Services Clearinghouse and check out this valuable resource available to SELF Members. Our newest product to be inducted is Iritrans - a student transportation safety and security system. Check back soon for more information!

Do you have a superior risk management solution that you would like to share with the membership? Contact our office with details.

SELF Resource Center - Has tons of free risk management resources and training tools for our members. Check out the recordings of our most recent Good Schools Workshop Webinars "Volunteers & Liability Issues"; "Special Education Issues and School District Liability: Transportation Liability - Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Students"; Special Education and School District Liability: Litigation War Stores and the Lessons We Learn From Them". Don't have a log-in? Click here to learn how to make one!

Looking for a training option that meets the California AB 1432 Mandated Reporter Training requirements? We have an option for you, free of charge for all active members and located in the SELF Resource Center. For more information click here or contact our office at info@selfjpa.org. To report your choice of training to CDE please download this form.

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