Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Child sexual abuse in the United States is a pervasive and widespread problem. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Child Protective Services finds evidence for a claim or substantiates a claim of child sexual abuse in the U.S. every 9 minutes.
If you or a loved one are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit to hold the offending individual or institution responsible. Filing a lawsuit may also prevent the perpetrator(s) from harming others. It may also provide financial compensation for your damages.
You Are Not Alone. Discuss Your Potential Claim With Our Experienced Attorneys
The legal team at Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. is committed to representing individuals who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Our goal is to hold negligent organizations and offenders accountable. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate attorney at our firm. We take cases nationwide.
Overview: Child Sexual Abuse Cases
Child sexual abuse is defined as a form of child abuse that involves sexual activity with a minor. This form of abuse does not need to involve physical interaction to be considered sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse can include, but is not limited to:
- Offensive phone calls, texts or digital communication
- Masturbation in the presence of a minor
- Forcing the minor to masturbate
- Exposing oneself to a minor
- Producing or sharing pornographic media of children
- Sex trafficking
This form of abuse can have long-lasting effects on the survivor, including effects on the survivor’s mental health. Compared to adults who have not suffered from child sexual abuse, child sexual abuse survivors are more likely to experience mental health challenges, including major depressive episodes and symptoms of drug abuse.
Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse
Perpetrators of child sexual abuse or assault are often people who the survivor knows. For children, this may be an individual from school, church or after school activities. These individuals may include:
- Priests and Clergy
The perpetrator of the assault may not be the only liable party. For example, an archdiocese that failed to properly monitor an employee or screen a staff member may also be found liable. In this example, the Archdiocese may be liable under a “negligent supervision” or “negligent hiring” theory.
Our law firm is experienced in handling Child Victim Act litigation on behalf of sexual abuse survivors in New York. Director Barbara J. Hart is actively involved in dozens of lawsuits filed against a former teacher in Westchester County. Lawsuits allege that a former Immaculate Heart of Mary coach and gym teacher in Scarsdale molested former players and students in the 1960s. One of the latest lawsuits claims that the archdiocese knew of the teacher’s conduct but failed to take action to protect the children. See the news coverage related to these lawsuits in the video.
Filing a Child Sexual Abuse Civil Lawsuit
A sexual assault incident against a child may lead to a civil lawsuit. For many sexual assault survivors, this is the only way to seek damages for harm suffered.
However, only certain individuals can file a civil lawsuit for these types of cases. Both the child and his or her legal caregiver, such as a birth parent, can sue for child sexual abuse. Children are typically represented by a parent or guardian.
Statute of Limitations
If you are considering filing a child sexual abuse lawsuit, it is important to understand that there is a statute of limitations that dictates how long you have to file your case. If you miss the deadline, you may no longer be eligible to file a lawsuit. Each state has its own statute of limitations with respect to these types of claims.
For survivors of child sexual abuse in New York, legislation enacted in 2019 has extended the window of time survivors have to come forward with their claims. The Child Victims Act:
- Provides a two-year window of time for survivors of any age to file actions against abusers and/or institutions that covered up their crimes (even if the abuse occurred decades ago)
- Adds more than 30 years for survivors to file a sex abuse lawsuit (until age 55; which was previously 23 before the Act)
- Deems sex abusers criminally liable a for longer amount of time
- Enables claims that were previously expired to be revived
New York and New Jersey, along with many other states, have gifted child sex abuse survivors more time to bring claims against their abusers. At the time of the abuse, many survivors may have not been able to voice their claims due to their age or mental capacity.
It is critical that you speak to an experienced attorney immediately to understand your deadline. As statute of limitations vary by state and type of case, an attorney can help you understand your deadlines and legal options.
Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. Takes Child Sexual Abuse Cases Nationwide. Contact Our Law Firm Today.
The attorneys at Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. represent survivors of child sexual abuse. We help our clients seek damages for the harm they suffered. If you or a loved one are a sexual assault survivor, speak with our attorneys as soon as possible. Our legal team can help you determine if you have a viable sexual assault claim and answer your legal questions.