KODIAK (AP) -- The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly will appeal a $1.35 million verdict awarded in a civil negligence suit brought by the mother of a developmentally disabled woman who claimed her daughter was sexually assaulted by two employees while in a borough treatment center in 1991.
The woman gave birth to a child. Tests indicated one of the employees was the father.
Assembly members met in a closed-door session Thursday and authorized its attorneys to appeal the verdict, said borough manager Dave Jensen.
''After consulting with counsel, the assembly believes there is a substantial probability that errors were made in the instructions on the applicable law given to the jury,'' Jensen said, reading from a statement prepared by assembly members. ''The assembly believes it would be irresponsible not to seek review by the Alaska Supreme Court, given the magnitude of the judgment.''
James Gilmore of Gilmore and Doherty, the firm representing the borough, estimated that it would take 18 months for a decision on appeal.
The case initially was filed in 1997.
The attorney for the mother told the Kodiak Daily Mirror on Friday that she would consider a settlement offer from the borough.
''It's a bad lawyer who doesn't consider settlement,'' said Kirsten Tinglum.
Jensen said there was no insurance to cover the judgment and his office would consider ''long-term debt restructuring'' to pay it off.
Jensen said that in 1991, the borough was undergoing a transitional stage in its liability coverage.
''Unfortunately, (the transition) occurred right at the time of the incident,'' he said.
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