Clergy and Child Sexual Abuse Attorney in New York
The NY Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have filed multiple lawsuits under the NY Child Victim's Act. Through our unmatched skill and expertise at trial we have obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements for victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, by schools or other organizations taking care of children as well as individuals. Call us at (212) 943-1090 for a free consultation.
Our New York Clergy Abuse Attorneys obtained one of THE LARGEST EVER SEXUAL ABUSE SETTLEMENTS IN THE COUNTRY -- a church sexual abuse $27.5 million settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn on behalf of four boys who were repeatedly sexually abused by a catechism teacher.
HOW TO PROVE SEXUAL ASSAULT
Frequently the main challenge in a case involving the sexual abuse of a minor is to prove that the employer or organization responsible for supervising the perpetrator knew or should have known the perpetrator was a danger to children and had a propensity for the conduct that gives rise to the injuries, specifically, the sexual abuse of minors. By its very nature, the abuse of a child often occurs in private and out of the view of the public so proving the employer knew or should have known can be particularly challenging. Invariably, the employer will argue this was not done in the course and scope of employment and it had no notice of the conduct; thus, the argument goes, they should not be held responsible. In such situations, liability can still attach if the employer was negligent in its supervision of the employee or volunteer, failed to follow proper practices in hiring the person or negligently retained him and allowed him to continue working around children when it was known or should have been known that he was a danger. An attorney seeking to prove such a case should start with what protocols were in place to prevent the conduct and were those protocols followed by staff. Were red flags missed or simply ignored? Red flags such as the perpetrator disregarding rules of conduct set by an employer, meeting with a child behind closed doors or inappropriately giving gifts to a child may trigger a duty on the part of the employer to investigate the conduct of a worker. Were complaints made and if so were they properly investigated and addressed or did the employer place reputation before the health, safety and well-being of the child.
Recently ProPublica released the largest nationwide database of Catholic Church members that have been credibly accused of sexual abuse on minors. The database can be searched by anyone here.
On February 14, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law The New York Child Victims Act. Under this new law, civil claims for injuries suffered as a result of sexual abuse can be brought against the abuser and institution (for example, church, school or camp) up until the victim reaches the age of 55. Importantly, the new law provides that all sexual abuse claims which were previously barred by the statute of limitations can be brought within a one year look-back window which commences six months from the effective date of the Act. The look-back window was recently extended to January 14 2021.
WHAT DOES THE "LOOK-BACK WINDOW" MEAN IN THE NEW YORK CHILD VICTIMS ACT?
The look-back window is a period during which there is no statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims in New York State. It means that starting August 14 2019 if you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse and your claim was previously time barred, you now have until January 14 2021 to file a lawsuit.
Our sexual abuse attorneys obtained an $11.45 million jury verdict on behalf of two teenagers who were sexually abused and raped by a youth minister at a Long Island catholic church. The jury found the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre was negligent in the hiring and retention of Matthew Maiello, a youth minister, and awarded two plaintiffs a combined $11.4 million in damages. In addition, our sexual abuse attorneys achieved a record settlement of $27,500,000 against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn on behalf of 4 young boys who were sexually assaulted by a volunteer in a local Brooklyn church. Each child received $6,875,000, which is the largest settlement paid to an individual by the Catholic Church.Compassionate NYC Sexual Abuse Lawyers
There is no question that the scars of sexual abuse are permanent, devastating and life changing. What makes the pain even worse is that the abuse is often committed by a trusted member of the community such as a religious leader, coach or teacher. It is by exploiting the trust of parents and the family that predators are able to perpetrate their abuse on the most vulnerable members of our society, our children.
The New York sexual assault attorneys at GGCRBHS&M are caring and compassionate and understand the shame, guilt and embarrassment people often feel surrounding the abuse they suffered. Those very feelings are what the predators count on to keep their victims silent. We are dedicated to fighting for victims of sexual abuse and securing for them compensation that will ensure they are protected for life.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of sexual abuse please contact our firm to discuss your case.