Sunnyside School District Superintendent Rick Cole learned Tuesday morning of Coregis Insurance's decision to appeal a decision that awarded the family of Joshua Hui $2 million.
The school district was sued after Hui's death Sept. 11, 2001. Hui, a 6-year-old autistic child, drowned during school hours after fleeing Washington Elementary School. His body was found in a canal near Southwest Crescent Avenue.
Cole said that to maintain its insurance coverage in the Hui lawsuit, the school district has to allow the firm's underwriter to appeal the court decision if it so desires.
"The school board was not involved in any of that decision making process," said Cole.
He said when the lawsuit was first filed, the school district was hoping the insurance company would settle with the Hui family. but rather the company pushed on to trial.
Other than the attorney's names, Cole said he has not been informed of any of the particulars in the case. He requested a copy of the basis of the appeal, but hasn't received it yet.
"I was surprised that they filed an appeal," said Cole.
He said that the school district could have made the decision to settle and not go to court, but the insurance company wouldn't have paid the Hui family. Instead, the school district would have had to foot the bill.
The Sunnyside School District is no longer insured by Coregis Insurance. The school district changed insurance carriers about two years ago. Since Coregis was the insurance carrier when Hui died, it is the company handling the claim.