Articles Tagged with Florida sexual abuse lawsuit

It’s estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will suffer sexual abuse by an adult by the time they turn 18. For too many, these traumatic incidents burden them as secrets carried with them into adulthood, while abusers walk free and the organizations that enabled them are not held accountable in criminal or civil court. In recent years, so-called “lookback window” laws could change that. South Florida sexual assault lawyer

A proposed Florida lookback window law would give thousands of sexual abuse victims in Florida a renewed opportunity to pursue justice. It failed this past legislative session, but lawmakers are proposing to try again next session. More than a dozen states have passed lookback window laws in recent years allowing victims of childhood sexual assault to pursue litigation against their attackers and others responsible, even decades after the abuse ended.

This most recent session, identical bills SB 946 and HB 23 would have created a one-year look-back window in Florida. Sponsors noted that 75 percent of child sexual abuse victims don’t tell anyone for at least one year. Roughly 50 percent haven’t told anyone after five years. Many are silent for a decade or more, as they grapple with a confusing mix of shame, embarrassment and pain. By the time they’re ready just to talk about it, the statute of limitations has expired. 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

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