The Children’s Theater Company is suing a sexual predator…
…wait. No. Let me read that again. I’ll add emphasis:
The Children’s Theatre Company has begun proceedings to collect close to $300,000 from a former student who was sexually assaulted by a staff member.
Huh. Yep. I read it wrong. The Children’s Theater Company has filed suit against someone one of their staffers sexually abused.
And they seem to be juuuuuust fine with it:
Actor and theater artist Laura Stearns is one of 17 people who filed civil suits against the Children’s Theatre Company for abuse they suffered as children while students in the theater company’s school. Stearns’ case was the first to go before a jury.
She claimed the company was negligent in hiring Jason McLean, the actor and teacher who raped her at his home in 1983.
A Hennepin County jury found the theater company “generally negligent” during the time period leading up to her assault, but not specifically negligent for hiring McLean. The jury decided that McLean, not the theater, should pay Stearns $3.68 million in damages.
But McLean fled to Mexico two years ago, taking his cash with him. It’s unlikely Stearns will see any money.
Last Friday, the theater company filed an application for “taxation of costs.” That’s what happens when the winner of a lawsuit asks the loser to pay for costs associated with the lawsuit, not including legal fees. The application listed $295,000 in expenses, including more than $214,000 for an expert witness.
The Children’s Theatre declined requests for an interview for this story. But in a written statement, management stressed it was not asking Stearns to pay the total sum, but simply presenting a comprehensive list of costs and leaving to the court the question of how much Stearns should pay.
Stearns’ attorney, Molly Burke, pointed out that filing for taxation of costs is optional; the Children’s Theatre didn’t have to do it.
No word whether the proudly “progressive” CTC has aroused the ire of #MeToo yet.