Flanner House of Indianapolis v. Flanner House Elementary School

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Flanner House of Indianapolis, Inc. today took a difficult step and brought an action against Flanner House Elementary School, Inc. and its board of directors alleging nearly $1M in damages for the Flanner School Board’s reckless conduct in improperly overseeing the school.

Flanner House and Flanner School are two different and unrelated nonprofit organizations with separate, but related missions. Flanner House is a community-based nonprofit whose mission is to support, advocate for and empower individuals, children and families by applying educational, social and economic resources that move members of the community towards stabilization and self-sufficiency. Flanner School is organized and operated to run a charter school in the same community. It was a natural fit for Flanner School to lease the school space in the Flanner House building.

Because of their related missions and shared space, Flanner House and Flanner School engaged in joint programming across multiple programs. As explained in the complaint:

  • Students of Flanner School would often receive educational support services from Flanner House and Flanner School staff including, but not limited to, tutoring; assisting the teachers’ break assignments down into short, sequential steps; providing space and time for separate test-taking; assisting children in completing homework; and more. These care providers regularly interacted with the teachers and administrators to assist struggling children to make gains.
  • Wrap-around services were provided collaboratively. These services included behavioral, social, therapeutic, and psychological counseling, therapy, and support at both Flanner School and Flanner House. Teachers, support staff, and administrators of Flanner School worked side-by-side with staff and management at Flanner House to coordinate these services and maximize educational, behavioral, social, therapeutic and psychological outcomes.
  • The caterer who provided breakfast for students in the Flanner House before school care program and lunch for the same students in the Flanner School lunch program utilized the same physical space and equipment to prepare and serve the food.

The organizations were dependent on each other for the success of certain programs. But unfortunately, due to alleged poor oversight by the Flanner School Board, the school closed, resulting in nearly $1M in damages, plus additional unspecified damages to Flanner House. This case involves similar allegations as Lemington Home for the Aged, which resulted in a $2.25M judgment against the board members individually.

The case was filed on August 5, 2015, in Marion Superior Court 11, under Cause Number is 49D11-1508-PL-026396.