A woman who filed a civil rights lawsuit over sexual abuse committed by her former high school golf coach will be paid $2.75 million under a settlement agreement with Scottsbluff Public Schools.
In the suit filed in November 2017 against Michael Klein, the district and Scotts Bluff Country Club, the victim claimed as a minor, she had been sexually abused by Klein, and both the district and country club knew of the abuse and harassment, but failed to take action.
At the plaintiff’s request, U.S. District Court Judge John Gerrard dismissed the victim’s claims against the school district and Scotts Bluff Country Club July 1 with prejudice, ending the case against both entities.
In a statement released by the school district, SBPS officials say the payment amount will be paid by the school district’s risk liability pool, ALICAP, and other than the self-insured retention, Scottsbluff Public Schools will not pay any amount of the settlement and it will not have a fiscal impact on the Scottsbluff Public Schools’ assets, budget or property tax levy.
SBPA says the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by or liability of the Scottsbluff Public Schools, and instead, all parties to the litigation wanted to avoid the costs, expenses and uncertainties of trial.
However, the plaintiff’s claims against Klein were dismissed without prejudice in the July 1 court order, meaning Klein’s civil liability could be raised in a new Federal suit filed in the future.
The former coach is serving a 24-to-32-year prison sentence for four counts of abuse he was convicted of. The criminal case involved two girls Klein coached.
Attorney Kathleen Fisher, who represented the girl, says this settlement won’t eliminate the pain from the abuse, but it will let the girl move forward with her life.