Sexual Abuse Injury Verdicts

Victims of sexual abuse often feel ashamed and powerless; those feelings can impact their interactions with others and their self-esteem for years to come. This is often aggravated by the fact that many perpetrators of sexual abuse are never prosecuted, or end up being acquitted because of the high burden of proof in the criminal justice system.

If you've been a victim of sexual abuse, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Take action today by receiving a confidential consultation from a local injury attorney.

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A successful sexual abuse case can put power back in the hands of the victim, bring a sense of vindication, and send a strong message not only to the abuser, but to other abusers and to employers, organizations, and others who may have looked the other way.*

*Results taken from recent news articles. Results not typical. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Altar boy Awarded $5 Million

On August 27, a St. Clair County jury ordered the Belleville Diocese to pay a former Salem altar boy $5 million in a sexual abuse case. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the now 47 year-old man was an altar boy decades ago and claims he was sexually abused by a priest. The jury found that the diocese planned to keep the sex abuse allegations quiet and allow the priest free rein in the diocese, even though church officials knew that he couldn't control his sexual urges toward young boys and girls. Documents shown in court illustrated that the diocese moved the priest from parish to parish as claims of sexual misconduct arose from the congregations. The jury awarded $2.6 million in punitive damages and $2.4 million in compensatory damages.

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$12.6 Million to Settle Chicago Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases

Chicago's Catholic archdiocese agreed to pay $12.6 million to 16 victims of sexual abuse by Chicago-area priests. Fourteen of the cases involved Rev. Daniel J. McCormack, who pled guilty in 2007 to abusing children. This is the fourth of five lawsuits regarding McCormack's sexual abuse. Cardinal Francis George attended the mediation, where he gave a lengthy deposition. He also publicly apologized for the abuse.

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$300,000 to High School Students for Sexual Discrimination

Two students from Poway High School in San Diego received a jury verdict in their favor for a total of $300,000 for what the jury ruled was negligence on the part of the school in allowing sexual discrimination against them. One male and one female student were reportedly harassed continuously over their sexual orientations, according to the lawsuit they filed. The jury decided after hearing evidence that the school knew about the problem enough to stop the harassment, but failed to act. One student received $175,000, while the other received $125,000. The award is being appealed by the school district.

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$1 Million Verdict to Girl for Rape by Father

A federal jury in the U.S. District Court in western Arkansas awarded a $1 million verdict to a girl and her mother in favor of their lawsuit against the girl's biological father for raping her and molesting her beginning when she was 7 years old. The jury award included $250,000 for compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages, the number being so high to send a message to the accused rapist that his "conduct will not be tolerated."

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$230,000 for sexual molestation charges against NBA star Kevin Johnson

An unnamed girl reached a $230,000 settlement with former NBA star and Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson to resolve a sexual molestation lawsuit she filed, alleging that Johnson molested her at the age of 16. Johnson agreed to the settlement to avoid litigation, though he denies the allegations in the suit. Originally seeking $750,000, the girl will receive part of the agreed upon amount up front and the rest in six-month installments.

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$25.7 Million for Priest Sexual Abuse in Louisville

Like many parishes across the country, the Archdiocese of Louisville recently reached settlements with sexual abuse victims. In all, the church agreed to pay $25.7 million to 243 people who accused priests of sexually abusing them, including eleven people who accused retired Monsignor Robert Bowling of abuse. The lawsuits against Bowling alleged behavior that occurred while Bowling was in Kentucky from 1955 to 1965, including one woman who alleged that she was molested while pregnant in the hospital. According to news reports, the settlement is the largest in the state for this type of case.

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$300,000 to Sexual Abuse Victim from County School Board

The Beaufort County (South Carolina) Board of Education reached a settlement with a former student who was molested by a teacher at one of the schools in the district. The alleged molester, Philip Underwood-Sheppard, is currently serving a 25-year sentence for molesting at least nine students from 1999 to 2002. The Board voted to pay the maximum amount of $300,000 that state law allows to be granted to a single person from a public entity. Other abuse victims who filed similar lawsuits received this amount, and many as parents of these victims also received settlement amounts.

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$5.4 Million to Female Employee Sexually Harassed by Billionaire

Florida billionaire David Siegel was ordered by a jury to pay $5.4 million to a woman who worked for Siegel's time share company for sexual harassment. According to the lawsuit she filed, Siegel inappropriately touched her and offered her $1 million for sex, and in doing so created a "hostile working environment." Though Siegel claims he was unfairly targeted because of his immense fortune, the jury sided with the woman.

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$1.1 Million to Former Inmate for Forced Sex with Jail Guard

A former Pennington County Jail inmate received a $1.1 million jury verdict for a lawsuit accusing a jail guard of forcing her to have sexual contact against her will. The woman was in custody in December 2002 awaiting trial when the incident occurred. The jury awarded $600,000 in compensation for emotional pain and suffering and mental anguish, as well as $500,000 in punitive damages. However, who is responsible for paying the award will be decided in state court at a later date.

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$385K to UNC Soccer Player for Sexual Harassment by Coach

A former UNC Tar Heel women's soccer player, Melissa Jennings, settled with the university for her lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance. According to Jennings' lawsuit, Dorrance engaged in inappropriate discussions about sex with team players. In addition to the $385,000 amount, Dorrance agreed to issue an apology to all of his players for the reported discussion. The university also agreed to complete a review of the school's sexual harassment policy. A fellow plaintiff, Debbie Keller, settled in 2004 for $70,000.

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$700,000 Settlement to Pastor for Wrongful Sex Abuse Arrest

A former pastor at East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church received closure to an eleven-year legal struggle in the form of a $700,000 settlement with the city of Wenatchee. The legal battle was over an alleged wrongful arrest for Robert Roberton's alleged involvement in a sex ring at the church of which he was the pastor. His suit claimed that the city violated his civil rights for arresting him in conjunction with a total of 60 people for alleged sexual abuse of children at the church.

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$100K Class Action Suit Settlement from Voyeuristic Landlord

A class action lawsuit against a landlord in Gibsonburg, Ohio has reached resolution with a settlement of $100,000. The lawsuit was brought by around 600 persons who claimed that James Rogers installed video and audio equipment to record them in the apartment buildings he owned throughout the city. Over 237 videotapes were found about his death in 2002, covering 16 years of time. Rogers died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while police were searching his house for evidence of voyeurism. Based on the number of people involved in the class action suit, it would mean low payments per person, around $150.

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14-Year-Old Boy Receives $250,000 From Military Academy for Rape

An unnamed 14-year-old victim received a settlement of $250,000 from the Fishburne Military School to resolve a lawsuit alleging that the he was raped by a fellow student in 2006. According to the suit, Robert Munfort of Lynchburg, Connecticut allegedly sodomized the boy with a mop handle, and then physically assaulted him. Munford pleaded guilty in juvenile court to criminal charges to assaulting two victims. According to the suit, the school was negligent in placing Munford in a position of power that he repeatedly abused.

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$50 Million Settlement to Native Alaskans for Sex Abuse Lawsuits Against Jesuit Priests

A recent settlement involving the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, better known as Jesuits, is the largest ever against a religious order of the Catholic church. The religious order reached a settlement of $50 million to resolve lawsuits filed by more than 100 native Alaskans who alleged that they were sexually abused by Jesuit priests serving in rural Alaska. This settlement does not resolve lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, which owned and managed the churches in which the offending priests worked.

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$250,000 Settlement for Rape of Mentally Disabled Girl

A South Carolina woman reached a settlement for $250,000 with the Babcock Center, a rehabilitation and treatment center for individuals with mental disabilities, after claiming in a lawsuit that an employee raped her 21-year-old mentally disabled daughter . Brenda Bryant believed that her daughter may have been raped by at least one man working the center when she committed her there for treatment in 1995. Ten years later, the settlement was reached, and will be paid by the company's insurance provider, despite the claim by Babcock Center officials that the sex was consensual.

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Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Reaches $1.25 Million Settlement with 32 Abuse Victims

After recent settlements in San Diego and Los Angeles, Pittsburgh is the latest city in which the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has reached a settlement agreement with victims with claims of sexual abuse or injury by Catholic priests. The Diocese has set up a $1.25 million fund in order to pay settlements to 32 victims who have brought forward civil lawsuits. In this case, the resolution offered by the church to the plaintiffs and their attorneys is particularly generous, since courts in Pennsylvania have determined that the lawsuits may not be pursued due to statutes of limitations on the cases. In addition to the financial settlement, the Diocese of Pittsburgh is also offering counseling programs to the victims included in the suit.

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San Diego Diocese Settles with Sexual Abuse Victims for $198.1 Million

Though lawsuits are still going through negotiations nationwide over the widely-publicized and outrageous priest sex abuse scandals, one suit filed by 144 abuse victims against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego has finally been settled for $198.1 million. Initially, the church had offered a settlement of around $95 million, but the bankruptcy judge ruling on their case criticized the amount as distinctly lower than similar settlements made in such cases. The settlement amount is the second-largest settlement made related to the scandal, behind the Los Angeles Archdiocese's agreement earlier this year to pay $764 million.

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Washington State Agency Pays Settlement for Rape of Disabled Patient

The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has reached a settlement of $2.5 million with an unnamed disabled patient who was raped by a state-employed nurse in a hospital laundry room. A male nurse at Eastern State Hospital, in Medical Lake, Washington was convicted of raping the patient on suicide watch in June 2004, and is currently serving time for the conviction. The attorney for the disabled patient successfully argued that the state agency knew about previous sexual misconduct involving the nurse, including a previous accusation of rape, but did not formally discipline him. A trial date was set for October, but the state opted for the settlement instead.

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$1.2 million for sex abuse

A Nebraska jury recently awarded $1.2 million to a former student who says he was sexually abused by a teacher after other students made numerous complaints to the school about the teacher's behavior. The unidentified student, who goes by the name John Doe, said he was sexually assaulted by the teacher, Michael Kluck, in 1993. In 2003, the Elwood Public School District, its insurance company and a guidance counselor pressured the former student into signing a form to keep him from suing, even after the teacher confessed to the assault. Kluck died of a heart attack in 2000, so the school district, the guidance counselor and Allied Insurance Co. were defendants in the lawsuit.

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$600 million settlement for clergy abuse

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has recently agreed to settle its clergy abuse cases for at least $600 million. More than 500 clergy abuse cases were scheduled for jury selection of which the archdiocese and its insurers will pay between $600 million and $650 million. The average payout will be between $1.2 and $1.3 million per plaintiff.

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$4.5 million settlement for student molestation

A South Carolinian court ordered settlement of six lawsuits was recently reached that will cost the Beaufort County School District $4.5 million. Coosa Elementary School music teacher Phillip Underwood-Sheppard was found guilty of molesting at least nine students between ages 6 and 13 in 2002. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty but mentally ill to nine counts of indecent exposure, seven counts of performing a lewd act upon a child and one count of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

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$500,000 awarded for sexual assault

A California jury recently awarded $500,000 to a woman who was sexually assaulted post-surgery by a male nurse. Gretchen Loudon sued both Saddleback Memorial Medical Center after she was allegedly assaulted by male nurse Romeo Poblete in 2004. Poblete used to work at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California where he was accused of similar conduct that was not reported. The jury assessed 10 percent of the damages against St. Joseph, whereas Saddleback had previously settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum. Poblete is believed to have fled to the Philippines, but there is a $250,000 warrant for his arrest on sexual assault charges. The plaintiff's attorney speculates that Poblete will never return to the US to pay any portion of the remaining jury award.

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$11.4 million awarded for sex abuse

A Long Island jury recently awarded $11.4 million to two victims who were raped by a youth minister over the course of several years. It is one of the rare instances where a civil case went on trial following a nationwide sex abuse scandal. The jury found that the Diocese of Rockville Centre, one of its churches and a pastor were negligent in the hiring and retention of the youth minister Matthew Maiello who carried out the abuse. $5.5 million will be paid to the female victim and $5.9 million will be paid to the male victim. The victims, who were 15 when they were abused, are now 23 years old.

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$40 million for Sexual Abuse

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington has mandated that the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington will pay about $40 million to settle present and future injury claims by alleged victims of clergy abuse under a bankruptcy reorganization plan. Injury abuse claimants will receive compensation under the plan of at least $15,000 to a maximum of $1.5 million, depending upon the degree of abuse.

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$75 million for Sexual Abuse Claims

A federal judge recently approved a $75 million settlement of sexual abuse claims against members of the Catholic clergy and a financial reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon. Lawyers from both sides of the case have worked out the most difficult cases since February, bringing the total settled claims under the 33-month bankruptcy to 177. All parties with similar claims in Spokane filed court papers there agreeing to $48 million settlement of clergy sex abuse claims. More than 160 victims are reportedly involved in the Spokane settlement.

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Delaware Jury Awards $41 Million to Sex Abuse Victim

A Delaware jury has awarded $41 million to a Navy officer who said he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager. The officer originally filed suit against the priest, the diocese, the Bishop, and the high school, but the diocese, Bishop, and school were dismissed from the lawsuit last year. The judgment for $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages was entered only against the priest.

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$550,000 Settlement by McDonald's Franchise for Sexual Harassment Injuries

GLC Restaurants in Flagstaff, Arizona will pay $550,000 to compensate eight women employees of McDonald's who were sexually harassed by a male manager. Many of the young women were only 14 when the manager committed the sexual harassment in 2001 and 2002. The same manager was previously accused of similar incidents at another McDonald's run by GLC. Apparently, GLC knew of the incidents and took no action to stop him at either store.

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$8.4 million award for victim of sexual abuse

A California jury awarded $8.4 million to a 16-year-old girl who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her mother's landlord. The estate of Steven Greenberg, now deceased, is responsible for the verdict. Greenberg molested the girl for several years before taking his own life in a private plane crash.

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$1.5 million settlement to victims of sexual abuse

An order of Catholic nuns in Kentucky agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle lawsuits by 46 plaintiffs claiming that they were sexually abused. The order of nuns admitted no guilt in the settlement after plaintiffs accused a priest, a nun and various laymen of abuse over a 50-year period.

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