Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits – Cases Our Lawyers Accept
Last updated: December 8, 2016
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits
Our Pennsylvania & New Jersey law firm represents survivors of molestation and victims of sex abuse or assault in civil lawsuits across the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. We handle matters in the following geographic areas of PA and NJ:
- the greater Philadelphia area (Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks and Berks counties),
- the greater Pittsburgh area,
- the Lehigh Valley area,
- South New Jersey, and
- North New Jersey.
Our law firm is equipped to handle matters outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey on a case by case basis. Our firm has the resources to handle sexual abuse and molestation lawsuits around the country. Our lawyers have handled crime victim injury cases in other states such as Delaware, New York, etc. Call to confirm representation in your area. 215.399.9255
Types of Lawsuits We Bring
Our lawyers often work with victims and survivors of abuse through any criminal investigations and cases. In the event a criminal case is instituted against a criminal perpetrator of sex assault or abuse, our lawyers work with clients to help them through the process. Firm founder Brian Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who is committed to helping his clients through both the criminal and civil legal processes.
Mr. Kent is willing to represent clients against well-established defendants. In one recent case, he successfully represented a client in a child molestation lawsuit against a state court judge. Despite the fact that he received threats from the local legal community, Mr. Kent and his client persevered. The judge ultimately admitted to the molestation. He was later removed from the bench and disbarred from the practice of law.
Our lawyers handle sexual abuse and assault lawsuits against direct perpetrators and indirect perpetrators. Direct perpetrators are the actual perpetrators of the conduct, i.e., the criminal perpetrators. Indirect perpetrators are individuals or entities which allowed the abuse to occur, hid the abuse or otherwise failed to take action to stop the abuse.
Under the laws of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, indirect perpetrators can be held liable in a civil lawsuit, along with direct perpetrators. Below is a discussion of the types of lawsuits we handle against both direct and indirect perpetrators.
When a church employee or agent, such as priest, clergy member, or other employee, sexually assaults or abuses a member of the organization, the employer can be held liable. This is in addition to the actual, criminal perpetrator.
Lawsuits are often brought against religious entities such as:
- religious youth organizations, and
- other religious organizations/nonprofits.
As of July 2015, Mr. Kent is handling a high profile case against the Philadelphia Archdiocese and a former priest for sexual molestation of Mr. Kent’s client when he was a child. That case was recently profiled in a philly.com article, Alleged victim of sexual abuse sues Phila. priest whose two trials ended in hung juries (July 14, 2015).
Sex assault/abuse in educational settings is often perpetrated by teachers, coaches, counselors, and even other students. This type of conduct can occur both on school grounds and off school grounds, such as at school functions or school trips.
Lawsuits are often brought against educational entities, such as:
- public/private schools,
- day cares centers, and
Sex assault or abuse isn’t limited to church and educational entities. Medical and mental health professionals are often guilty of abusing or assaulting patients. Doctors, nurses, chiropractors and massage therapists can easily assault/abuse a patient. In many instances, a medical professional who perpetrates this kind of abuse has a long history and multiple victims over the years.
Lawsuits may be brought against professional entities, such as:
- medical providers,
- hospitals, and
- medical/mental health organizations.
Other Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits
The three types of cases discussed above, i.e., sex abuse in religious, educational and professional institutions, are the most common types of civil sex abuse lawsuits. However, victims of sex assault may have legal rights to seek justice against other entities, such as:
- landlords/leasing companies,
- bars/restaurants, and
- other businesses.
Landlords or leasing companies may be liable for negligent maintenance which allows a criminal perpetrator to gain access to an apartment building. For example, a landlord fails to maintain door locks or window locks. As a result, a tenant or guest of a tenant is raped. The landlord or its leasing company may be held liable for failure to maintain the property.
Bars and restaurants may be held liable when a customer or patron is sexually assaulted on the premises, including the bar/restaurant itself, the parking lot, etc. The key in these cases is proving that the bar or restaurant owner had reason to know or did know about the risk of such criminal activity. These cases often boil down to the existence of any prior complaints, evidence showing negligence in serving alcohol, etc.
Other businesses may be held liable under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law. Any person, business or organization which owes a duty to the plaintiff can be held liable. This includes adoption agencies or foster care organizations for negligence in placing a child in a sexually abusive home.
Damage Claims in Sex Abuse & Assault Lawsuits – Financial Compensation & Beyond
Bringing a lawsuit for sexual abuse or assault is a very personal decision, a decision that should be an informed one. Financial compensation is the bedrock of the civil court system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This means that an injured plaintiff has the right to ask for financial damages for economic losses (medical bills, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, etc.), as well as pain and suffering.
In addition, sex abuse lawsuits often result in changes at the institutional level, changes that are designed to better the system and prevent future acts of abuse. For example, in a school abuse lawsuit, the school may agree to yearly sex abuse training for all students and teachers.
Get more info, access our sex abuse law library.
PA & NJ Sex Abuse Victims Law Firm
Our firm has handled dozens of crime victim injury cases. Our aim is to help victims obtain justice through the civil courts. If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted and want to know your legal rights in the civil justice system, contact our office for a free consultation. 215.399.9255