As longtime Palm Beach sexual abuse lawyers advocating for Florida victims and survivors in civil litigation, it’s sadly no surprise when prominent businesses, organizations, government agencies, or institutions fail in their duty to protect those most vulnerable to sexual predators. Time and again, these entities allow basic safety protocols, oversight, security, and reporting take a back seat to profits and prestige. The result is victims suffer in silence while predators carry on – sometimes entirely unfettered.
This is why when survivors of sexual abuse within an organization (school, workplace, sports club, church, etc.) come forward, civil case attorneys prioritize a deep dive into that organization’s history, policies, practices, and protections. Rarely are such occurrences isolated.
We saw yet another example of this recently with the three Florida sexual abuse lawsuits filed by former youth athletes against several cheerleading organizations, gyms, and investors. The plaintiffs were competitive cheerleaders, coached at the same Daytona Beach gym by the same man, who is now facing felony sexual abuse charges. But as noted in the complaints, the blame doesn’t rest solely on the coach. Rather, plaintiffs say, fault also lies with business and athletic organizations that established operational models with lax oversight policies that allowed young athletes to be taken advantage of by sexual predators.
What’s more: This is far from the first time some of these cheer organization defendants have been named in civil sexual abuse lawsuits for similar lapses in other states.