New York Votes to Extend Child Victims Act ‘Look-Back’ Window for Reporting Sexual Abuse

California Expands Window for Filing Child Sexual Abuse Cases

The New York State Legislature has approved a bill extending the Child Victims Act that gives survivors of childhood sexual abuse more time to bring lawsuits for allegations that occurred even decades ago. As reported by Law.com (subscription), on Wednesday, lawmakers in the state voted to extend the legal “look-back” window by an extra year, officially pushing the filing deadline for new claims to August 2021. [Read more…]

Civil Litigation and Other Alternatives to Criminal Prosecution Can Achieve the Kind of Institutional Reforms Victims Care About

Abuse Victims

By Lieff Cabraser Attorney Avery Halfon

The cultural impact of Harvey Weinstein’s criminal conviction for felony sex crimes may be broader than any other in years. As the revelations of his abuse were the spark that ignited the #MeToo movement, his guilty verdict symbolizes a formal recognition how much sexual misconduct matters, how it happens, and the harm it causes. It may spur more potential individual and institutional offenders to “get it” and behave differently—not only because it may signal a more concrete risk of consequences, but because it may help those potential offender internalize why they should change their individual conduct or institutional culture to prevent sexual misconduct in the first place. As I wrote recently, both research and anecdotal evidence shows that such understanding and prevention is exactly what victims value most. [Read more…]

What Victims Value: Individual and Institutional Offenders “Getting It” and Changing Their Behavior

Abuse Victims

By Lieff Cabraser Attorney Avery Halfon

Harvey Weinstein’s criminal conviction for felony sex crimes may be a watershed moment in our cultural recognition and legal handling of sexual misconduct. The more than 90 women who spoke out about Weinstein’s abuse deserve an enormous amount of credit for their bravery, which awakened a societal sea change through the #MeToo movement that led to this guilty verdict. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser & Co-Counsel File Sexual Abuse Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Student-Athletes Against NCAA and Former Track Coach John Rembao

Track women athletes

Today, three former student-athletes filed a class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), the NCAA Board of Governors, and John Rembao, the former track and cross-country coach at the University of Arizona, University of Texas-Austin and other NCAA universities. The complaint alleges that the NCAA put student-athletes at all NCAA member schools in harm’s way by failing to prohibit sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or sexual contact between coaches and student-athletes, and by permitting coaches accused of sexual abuse to move unfettered between NCAA schools. The lawsuit seeks immediate adoption of clear and best practices around coach-student relationships, and compensation for those who were subjected to abuse as a result of the NCAA’s failures to employ such practices. [Read more…]

New York Gynecologist Robert Hadden, Who Evaded Prison in Controversial 2016 Sex-Crime Plea, Now Faces New Allegations

Gynecologist patient sexual abuse

Lieff Cabraser partner Wendy R. Fleishman represents one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits against Dr. Hadden

The New York Times reports that the Manhattan district attorney’s office has announced that it has opened an investigation into new allegations of abuse against NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital gynecologist Robert A. Hadden. The announcement came just a month after the wife of a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate publicly declared that she, too, was one of Hadden’s victims and amid calls from elected officials and women’s rights groups for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. to resign over his handling of previous cases against Hadden. [Read more…]

New York 2019 Child Victims Act – Take Action to Get Justice Before the August 14, 2020 Deadline

Abuse Survivors Can Receive Compensation

New York State recently enacted the New York Child Victims Act, which opens a one-year window until August 14, 2020 for people of any age who experienced sexual abuse as a child to bring lawsuits in New York even for abuse that occurred decades ago. Going forward, the new law also allows child sex abuse survivors to bring a civil lawsuit against abusers and institutions that protected them until the survivor reaches the age of 55.
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Judge in USC Tyndall Sex Abuse Gender Violence Case Signals Approval of Landmark $215M Settlement for Ex-Gynecologist’s Patients

USC image

On Monday January 6, 2020 a federal judge in Los Angeles signaled that he would give final approval to USC’s landmark, $215-million federal class-action settlement with former patients of Dr. George Tyndall, who has been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct relating to tens of thousands of female patients while he was the head gynecologist at the USC student health center for over two decades. [Read more…]

Abuse Survivors Can Receive Compensation From Fund Set Up By Six California Catholic Dioceses

Abuse Survivors Can Receive Compensation

Survivors need to be aware of fast-approaching January 31, 2020 deadline for all claims

Individuals who were sexually abused by priests across six California Catholic dioceses now have the option to file claims to receive money from a new independent compensation program managed outside the church. The Independent Compensation Program (“ICP”), initially announced in May of this year, is a part of an ongoing effort by the Dioceses to repair their relationships with their communities and offer restitution for past abuses. [Read more…]

Uber Safety Report Shows Nearly 6,000 Incidents of Sexual Assault Over Past Two Years

Uber Safety Report Shows Nearly 6,000 Incidents of Sexual Assault Over Past Two Years

Uber recently released a highly-anticipated safety report, wherein the ridesharing giant, revealed that it received 5,981 reports of serious sexual assault in the U.S. during 2017 and 2018. The claims range from unwanted touching and kissing to outright rape, with almost 500 incidents of rape reported. [Read more…]

California Expands Window for Filing Child Sexual Abuse Cases

California Expands Window for Filing Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Victims can now bring suit for much older abuse cases that would in the past have been blocked by statutes of limitation

As reported by the Los Angeles Times and numerous other news outlets, California just passed a new law giving victims of childhood sexual abuse more time to report allegations and file lawsuits, and temporarily allowing previously time-barred sexual assault claims to be brought, joining multiple other states, including New York, in greatly expanding the statute of limitations for claims by sex abuse victims. [Read more…]

New York State and 18 Other Jurisdictions Drastically Expand Window on Child Sexual Abuse Cases

California Expands Window for Filing Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Victims can now bring suit for much older abuse cases that would in the past have been blocked by statutes of limitation

Nonprofit think tank Child USA reports that no fewer than 19 jurisdictions in the United States are significantly expanding their windows on the prosecution of sexual abuse crimes. On August 14, 2019, New York State will be the first to do so by extending its criminal statute of limitations for felony prosecutions for sexual abuse to victims aged 28 and for misdemeanor prosecutions to victims aged 25. The new law will also allow civil claims against individuals and institutions to be brought by adults up to age 55, and removes the 90-day notice requirement for claims against public institutions. The new law further opens a 1-year “revival window” against individuals and institutions that will allow past abuse to be reported and prosecuted. This new mandate was signed into law by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 14, 2019. [Read more…]

Law.com’s “Meet the Attorneys” in the Hotchkiss School Sexual Assault Case

Hotchkiss sexual abuse case lawyers

The Connecticut Law Tribune and Law.com (subscription) recently published an overview of the lawyers prosecuting and defending claims in the suit accusing the Hotchkiss School of breach of fiduciary duty for allegedly taking no action to protect boys allegedly sexually abused at the school decades ago. In late July 2019, U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden for the second time rejected a request by the attorneys representing the Hotchkiss School to dismiss the sexual abuse lawsuit against the prestigious college preparatory institution, ruling in favor of the plaintiff that a jury trial should take place. [Read more…]

USC/Tyndall Sexual Assault Survivor Op-Ed: “USC Gynecologist George Tyndall Abused Me & My Fight For Justice Goes Beyond His Trial.”

USC image

Bustle magazine has published a moving opinion piece written by USC alumna Shannon O’Conner, one of the thousands of women who allegedly suffered sexual abuse by the former head gynecologist at the USC student health center. Ms. O’Conner, a television producer in Los Angeles, recounts the sense of relief she felt after Tyndall was charged with 29 felonies in June 2019. [Read more…]

Judge Rules Hotchkiss School Student Sexual Abuse Trial Will Move Forward

Hotchkiss

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden for the second time rejected a request by the attorneys representing the Hotchkiss School to dismiss the sexual abuse lawsuit against the prestigious college preparatory institution, ruling in favor of the plaintiff that a jury trial should take place. [Read more…]

Claims Period Opens in USC Tyndall Sex Abuse Gender Violence Case

USC

On July 12, 2019, formal notice was sent to over 150,000 women identified as possible victims of the sexual predation and misconduct of USC gynecologist George Tyndall over the last several decades. Notice is being transmitted by email, direct mail, and social media, and the official settlement website for the case is now live at https://www.usctyndallsettlement.com. Women who wish to submit claims or learn more about the settlement and the claims process should visit the website at their earliest convenience for full information about the USC/Tyndall Sexual Abuse Litigation settlement. [Read more…]

Hotchkiss School Sexual Abuse Lawsuit to Go Forward After Court Ruling

Hotchkiss

As reported by Law.com, U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden (D. Conn.) has ruled that a former student’s lawsuit against the prestigious Hotchkiss School in Connecticut alleging sexual abuse by Roy Smith, a teacher at the school in the 1990s, may move forward. Though the judge dismissed a count of intentional infliction of emotional distress against Hotckhiss, he ruled that the case can proceed on the four other counts, those of breach of fidicuary duty, recklessness, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. [Read more…]

Myth vs. Fact Guide to the USC Dr. George Tyndall Sexual Abuse Settlement

Physician sexual abuse of patients

Below you will find comprehensive information on the settlement of the sexual abuse and gender violence filed on behalf of thousands of University of Southern California students against Dr. George Tyndall and USC.

Additional information is available on the official Settlement website. Anyone who thinks they may be a member of the class should visit the official website to read Court-approved information. 

MYTH: The class action settlement prevents survivors from filing individual lawsuits.

FACT: Women can choose to opt-out of the class action settlement and pursue their civil claims in court if they believe that is what is best for them. The settlement does not prevent any woman from pursuing her claim in court – instead, it simply provides an additional choice for survivors in how they wish to pursue their claims, if at all. Without the settlement, a survivor’s only choice is litigation. With the settlement, a survivor can still choose litigation if she wishes, or she can choose to participate in the settlement. The settlement increases choices for survivors; it doesn’t prevent anyone from doing anything.

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Judge in USC Tyndall Sex Abuse Gender Violence Case Issues Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Renewed Motion for Preliminary Settlement Approval

USC

On June 13, 2019, Judge Steven V. Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order granting Plaintiffs’ renewed motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement of the gender violence and sexual abuse litigation against Dr. George Tyndall and the University of Southern California. The settlement will require USC to adopt and implement procedures for identification, prevention, and reporting of sexual and racial misconduct, as well as recognize the harm done to all of Tyndall’s patients through a $215 million fund that gives every survivor a choice in how to participate.  [Read more…]

USC/Tyndall Class Action Settlement to Establish Institutional Reforms on Campus, Provide $215 Million Fund for Survivors

USC

Revised agreement filed today includes additional information requested by Court

University of Southern California (USC) students and alumnae today filed an amended class action settlement agreement that creates a $215 million fund recognizing all survivors of former student health center gynecologist George Tyndall, while establishing institutional reforms on campus such as new procedures for identification, prevention, and reporting of sexual and racial misconduct. [Read more…]