Sex abuse case can proceed against Poly Prep: judge

Thomson Reuters News & Insight

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK, Aug 30 (Reuters) – A lawsuit alleging an elite Brooklyn prep school covered up decades of sexual abuse by a former football coach can proceed, a federal judge said in a ruling that plaintiffs hailed as a major victory in the closely watched case.

The lawsuit was brought against Poly Prep Country Day School by 10 former students and two men who, while still underage, attended the school’s summer camp. The group, which includes named plaintifff Philip Culhane, a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in Hong Kong, claimed they had been abused by Philip Foglietta, who was a football coach at Poly Prep from 1966 until 1991. No criminal charges were ever brought against Foglietta, who died in 1998.

The plaintiffs said Poly Prep and several former and current administrators and directors swept reports of Foglietta’s abuse under the rug for years to protect the school’s reputation. The school denied that it covered up allegations of abuse.

U.S. District Judge Frederic Block allowed Title IX claims and state-law claims for negligent retention or supervision and breach of fiduciary duty to move forward, despite the school’s argument that these claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

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