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‘Tidal Wave’ Of Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Expected As New York Law Takes Effect

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A 'tidal wave' of child sexual abuse lawsuits are expected to hit New York State courts this month, as a new law which takes effect on August 14 will allow accusers one year to sue over past sexual abuse claims, regardless of when they occurred

The Child Victims Act, signed by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo in February, is expected to expose decades-old misconduct at churches, schools, hospitals, youth clubs and more, according to Reuters, citing lawyers for alleged victims. 

Under the law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in February, New York has gone from one of the toughest states to bring a case because of its strict statute of limitations to one of the easiest, potentially unleashing decades of unresolved claims.

It’s going to be a tidal wave of litigation,” said lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, best known for representing victims of child abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Cases will cut across society, illustrating the systemic nature of the abuse, victims’ lawyers said, although they expect many of the lawsuits to be against Catholic organizations and the Boy Scouts of America. -Reuters

"We believe victims, we support them, we pay for counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward," said the Boy Scouts of America in a statement. 

New York State Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust, meanwhile, said that church leadership dropped their opposition to the law once it was broadened to include public institutions – saying "All survivors deserve to be heard." 

Lawyers for victims say they are teaming up to maximize resources, while connecting with old clients whose cases were previously barred by the state's statute of limitations. Nearly 100 people have signed up with one New York law firm alone, according to lawyer Jeff Anderson who specializes in clergy sex abuse cases. 

After several states made it easier to sue, TV ads soliciting child sex abuse lawsuits spiked to more than 1,700 in both March and April, up from just 46 in January, according to X Ante, a consulting firm that tracks lawyer ad spending.

If you were abused in a scouting program you are not alone,” said an ad by San Diego, California-based AVA Law Group, which X Ante said was one of the most frequently broadcast. “Come forward. New laws may allow you a path to significant financial compensation.”

However, victims and advocates often say the money is secondary, and many sue to expose perpetrators, hold organizations accountable and to further the healing process. -Reuters

While the Boy Scouts of America have acknowledge that abuse occurred – apologizing and reporting the accused to law enforcement, the Archdiocese of New York has paid out $65 million in compensation to 325 people over the last two years. Just one person rejected an offer according to the church. 

Those who accept settlements waive their right to sue, causing some victims' rights advocates to call out institutions for silencing accusers (with loads of money willingly taken). 

"I think the potential is huge for all kinds of things coming to the surface like we’re seeing with Epstein," said attorney James March, who represents some of the victims. 

Other lawyers for alleged victims say that insurance policies will cover the majority of claims, however both the NY Archdiocese and the Boy Scouts of America are currently in ongoing disputes over insurance coverage. 

Coordinating scores of lawsuits against an organization could also be difficult, although few New York cases are expected to go to trial.

Many lawyers said they expect organizations to file for bankruptcy, which would stop the litigation and create one forum where all the claims can be settled at once. -Reuters

"Bankruptcy is the way to go," said lawyer Tim Kosnoff, who is intimately familiar with cases against the Boy Scouts. "Most clients come out of it pretty satisfied."


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