Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse

Many Florida sexual abuse lawsuits stem from a violation of trust by someone in a position of power. Cases in recent years have included coaches, teachers, health care workers, bosses, corrections officers and clergy. South Florida sexual abuse lawsuit

Although a survivor of sexual abuse by any perpetrator may have grounds to claim civil liability damages against that individual, cases with at least one third-party defendant tend to have a higher chance of success in terms of an actual payout. Many third-party defendants in sexual abuse cases are organizations, institutions and agencies that owed a duty to protect the victim – and failed.

One such case recently reported on by The Tampa Bay Times stemmed from a 2018 incident in which a 19-year-old woman was admitted involuntarily to a local hospital under the state’s Baker Act. Because there was concern she might harm herself, her family was not permitted to see her and she was assigned one-one-one mental health evaluation and care. According to the recently-filed Florida sexual abuse lawsuit, that employee sexually groomed and abused the patient over a five-day period. The employee was later fired, arrested and convicted of sexual misconduct. He was sentenced to six years of probation and required to register as a sex offender. Now, both he and his former employer are being sued. Continue reading

Like many other large cities, West Palm Beach has its fair share of criminal activity. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that Palm Beach County’s violent crime rate in 2019 was 390 per 100,000 residents. The good news is that’s a drop of about 5 percent from the year before. However, it includes more than 560 reported rapes and sexual assaults, while only 105 arrests were made for these offenses. What some survivors may not realize is that besides the criminal justice system, there is another avenue of accountability: Civil claims filed against third parties for negligent security.West Palm Beach sexual assault lawyer

Crime statistics have proven invaluable in Florida negligent security lawsuits.

Negligent security is a type of civil premises liability claim filed for injuries resulting from a property owner’s negligence. Survivors of rape and sexual assault may have a negligent security claim if they can prove the property owner owed them a duty of care to protect against third-party attacks and failed to put reasonable security measures in place or warn them of possible danger. Continue reading

Workplace sexual assault, rape, exploitation and harassment are unfortunately too common in South Florida. These can include physical attacks, constant unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors (quid pro quo).South Florida sexual assault attorney

As West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers, we work with sex crime survivors to determine legal remedies in the civil sphere. That means pursuing civil litigation against the abuser personally, but also the people, institutions, businesses and organizations that had a duty to protect the victim – and failed.

These claims are separate from the criminal proceedings, though they may occur simultaneously and sometimes have an impact on each other. Continue reading

An estimated 1 in 6 women in Florida will be victimized by sexual assault at least once in life, while 1 in 5 men will be victimized by some form of sexual violence other than rape. Although survivors can make the decision to report such actions to police, pursuing criminal prosecution is ultimately up to the local state attorney’s office. Even if the prosecutor files charges and secures a conviction, the reality is compensation to the victim in the form of restitution is unlikely to be adequate (if it’s ordered or able to be collected at all).Florida sexual assault lawsuit

But one avenue through which survivors may still obtain justice is civil litigation. As our West Palm Beach civil trial lawyers can explain, the goal of a civil sexual abuse lawsuit isn’t to undo what cannot be undone. Rather, it is to make victims as whole as possible by compensating for physical injuries, disability (time you had to take off work), mental and emotional trauma and even damaged relationships.

And the perpetrator may not be the only one you can hold responsible – even if he or she acted alone. In civil litigation, you’ll want to explore the potential liability of:

  • The owner/controller of the property where the sexual assault happened.
  • The offender’s employer.
  • The school, daycare, sports organization, religious institution, nursing home or hospital that had a duty to protect the victim.
  • Any security firms contracted to keep people safe.

Civil liability against third parties in sexual abuse lawsuits considers the duty of care the defendant owed to protect the plaintiff (victim) and whether the offense was reasonably foreseeable. Did the employer do enough to vet its workers? Did the sports organization overlook years of misconduct by a coach? Did the hotel fail to make sure it had adequate security staff on site to keep guests safe? These are the kinds of things that can result in a finding of third-party liability in Florida sexual assault lawsuits. Continue reading

Accountability for sexual assault is most often thought of in the context of criminal law. An attack occurs, followed by a police investigation and possibly arrest, prosecution and incarceration. However, victims have other avenues of accountability through civil courts. Specifically, we’re talking about a type of premises liability claim known as negligent security.West Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers

Those who own and manage property such as nightclubs, hotels, resorts, amusement parks, dormitories, shopping centers and apartment buildings have a legal duty to provide a safe, secure place for their patrons and guests. That means protecting them from foreseeable risks, which includes criminal attacks such as sexual assault.

It is not that Florida property owners are expected to anticipate every random crime. However, failure to initiate reasonable security measures that in turn makes it easier for a criminal act like rape to occur opens the door to a negligent security lawsuit. So even though the attacker is directly responsible for the assault, property owners, property managers and security firms can also be held liable. Continue reading

Florida civil lawsuits don’t die just because a defendant does.

This question has been raised repeatedly in recent days following the death of billionaire Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein, suspected of being the central figure in a longtime child sex trafficking ring. He was convicted of solicitation several years ago, received (by all accounts) a “sweetheart deal” from a federal prosecutor who went on to become U.S. Labor Secretary (since resigned) and was facing new criminal charges in New York. He died several weeks ago of an apparent suicide while in custody awaiting trial on the newest charges.injury lawyer

The 66-year-old’s death means that the criminal case against him personally has been dismissed. It does not, however, mean the end of sexual abuse civil lawsuits pending against him by his alleged victims. Most were minors at the time they were allegedly lured into a human trafficking operation that involved the extremely wealthy and powerful.

Now, Epstein’s $580 million estate and its executors have been named defendants in a growing number of civil cases filed by his accusers. Those cases are not closed just because Epstein is dead. Continue reading

A 28-year-old woman who says a male nurse sexually assaulted her is suing Bethesda Memorial Hospital for Boynton Beach personal injury. In her Palm Beach County sexual abuse lawsuit, she identifies herself as ‘Jane Doe.’

The woman says the assault happened last September. She had been admitted to the Boynton Beach hospital for treatment of a digestive order and she says that she woke up to find Kenneth Shing-Cheung Lee inappropriately touching her. She says that she immediately ran to the nurse’s situation to report what happened. The woman contends that hospital officials didn’t take her claims seriously, which is why she contacted police.

The accused nurse has denied the sex abuse allegations. However, the plaintiff said that she doesn’t think this is the first time that he has sexually abused a patient.

Our Miami personal injury lawyers represent children and adults in South Florida seeking to recover damages for injuries they sustained as a result of sexual abuse. We know how devastating injuries from sexual assault and molestation can be for the victims, and we are sensitive to our clients’ situations while doing our best to obtain financial recovery.

Occasionally, on our South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog site, we report on related stories occurring outside the state. One headline that has been making national papers is the allegations against ex-Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The 67-year-old has been indicted on 40 criminal counts for allegedly sexually abusing a number of boys over a 15-year period.

After retiring from the college in 2009, Sandusky continued to use the school’s facilities to work with at-risk kids, some of whom he allegedly molested and sexually assaulted. The child sex abuse incidents occurred over a 15-year-period.

An aspiring model has filed a federal lawsuit in Miami suing the social networking site BlackPlanet.com for Florida personal injury. The plaintiff contends that she was drugged, sexually assaulted, and made into a porn star without her consent by men she met through the Web site. Also named as defendants in the Miami personal injury case are Emerson Callum and Lavont Flanders.

The two men are accused of pretending to be talent scouts to get her and eight other women to audition. The nine of them were given Xanax and alcohol before Callum allegedly raped them. Flanders is accused of shooting video the sexual assaults and selling the footage online as pornography.

The plaintiff, known as Jane Doe 11, says she doesn’t remember being raped and she didn’t even know the video existed until her agent found it. According to her Miami personal injury lawyer, the sex crime wouldn’t have happened if BlackPlanet hadn’t been negligent. Her legal team contends that the social networking site, should have known or knew that it had members who were sexual predators.

A woman who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a cop will be receiving $500,000 for her Miami personal injuries. The Miami City Commission approved the settlement this week.

The victim was attacked by Officer Michael Ragusa in 2007. The following year, Ragusa, who had sexually assaulted three women pleaded guilty to rape charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The former cop would drive his police vehicle around Miami Beach and look for victims. According to the Miami Herald, the last woman he attempted to rape was able to get away because she told him she had an STD. However, he still made her give him her phone number and later texted her. That message was used as evidence to find him.

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