Registered sex offender and former attorney Tom Lakin is trying to plow new legal ground with his self-indemnifying theory that sex offenders should be covered by their homeowners insurance policies for any physical or psychological harm suffered by their victims in an insured residence – at least when that harm was arguably unintended or “accidental.”
The idea is that insurance companies should reimburse offenders for any damages assessed against them for sexual torts – or compensate victims directly.
Lakin’s theory will not find favor with insurance policy providers or anyone with common sense. It may, however, appeal to some victims of sexual abuse: those mercenary enough to cooperate with their abusers in trying to shake down insurance companies for some cash.
Lakin is currently testing his theory in a St. Clair County courtroom, where he is arguing that the homeowner policy provided by State Farm should coer him against claims made in a suit alleging sexual abuse of minors in his home.
Lakin insists that the abuse was accidental and that he could not have foreseen that plying adolescents with alcohol and drugs and encouraging them to engage in sexual acts with each other would lead to him and other adults taking advantage of them.
The bad stuff that followed was not premeditated or intentional and happened only as a result of negligence, which State Farm’s homeowner policy covers.
Like we said at the outset, it’s only a theory, a cynical theory at best.
State Farm’s attorney rejects it, citing “the repeated holdings of the Illinois Supreme Court and appellate court that a tort claimant may not trigger insurance coverage for intentional conduct through facetious allegations of negligence.”
He suggests that the plaintiffs amended their original complaint against Lakin “for the purpose of attempting to trigger insurance coverage.”
State Farm’s attorney is not accusing Lakin or the plaintiffs of attempted fraud, but someone should consider the possibility.
What Tom Lakin needs to be covered by is not a policy, but a cage.