Nevada Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault can file civil lawsuits against their abuser and other third parties, such as schools, churches, etc. Our sex abuse lawyers help victims get financial compensation by filing civil lawsuits against parties who negligently allowed the abuse to occur or failed to prevent it.

In this post, we will discuss the process of filing a civil lawsuit for sexual abuse in Nevada. We will look at the relevant laws regarding sex abuse and the average settlement value of these cases.


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What is Considered Sex Abuse in Nevada

Sexual assault or abuse is defined as intentional sexual touching or contact without the other person’s consent and for the purpose of sexual gratification, arousal, or humiliation. In the context of a civil lawsuit, sexual abuse or assault is often referred to as sexual battery, and it can range from groping a breast to rape.

There are two key components that must be present to meet the definition of sexual abuse in Nevada. First, the sexual touching must be done intentionally. If one inadvertently grabs a student’s breast vagina in a crowded elevator or to catch them from falling, there is no intent, and it does not qualify as sexual abuse.

The second element is the lack of consent. For intentional sexual touching to qualify as abuse or assault, it must be done without mutual consent. Under Nevada law, minors under the age of 18 cannot give consent to sexual touching. Any sexual contact with a minor by an adult is automatically considered sexual battery.

So if a teacher has a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student, that would be sexual battery even if the student willingly participated and consented. The 16-year-old did not have the legal capacity to consent to sexual contact with the adult teacher.

When Can You Sue for Sexual Abuse?

In Nevada, sexual abuse or assault constitutes both a criminal offense and a civil wrongdoing. This grants sexual abuse victims the option to pursue criminal charges and/or initiate a civil lawsuit to seek financial compensation. Any individual who has suffered from sexual abuse or assault has the right to pursue either or both options.

Victims of sexual abuse can pursue a civil lawsuit regardless of whether the perpetrator faced criminal charges or a conviction. In fact, victims can bring a civil lawsuit even if they never reported the abuse to the police and even if they never told anyone about it.

The burden of proof required to establish sexual battery in a civil case is notably lighter compared to that in a criminal trial. This means that it is much easier for a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit to demonstrate the occurrence of sexual abuse or assault. So even if an offender evades criminal prosecution, they can still be held liable in a civil court of law.

Getting Money from Third Parties in Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Anyone who has been sexually abused or assaulted has the right to file a civil lawsuit and seek compensation. Victims can file civil lawsuits for sexual abuse even if they did not press criminal charges and even if they never told anyone about the abuse.

So who can sex abuse victims sue in a civil lawsuit? Victims of abuse can always file suit against the individual who abused or assaulted them. The problem with doing that, however, is that even if you win the lawsuit you probably won’t be able to get any money out of the abuser. In many cases, the abuser might already be dead or in jail.

The real goal in a sexual abuse civil lawsuit is going after a third party who can be held liable for the abuse. Third parties can be held liable in a civil sex abuse lawsuit if you can show that they were negligent and that this negligence allowed the abuse to happen. For example, if you were abused by a teacher at your school, the school could potentially be liable for negligently failing to stop the abuse or investigate prior complaints against the teacher. Common examples of third parties who can be liable in sexual abuse civil lawsuits include schools, churches, and organizations such as the Boy Scouts, etc.

The following example will help illustrate how third parties can be liable in sexual assault cases. Let’s say Jenny goes to casino in Las Vegas and gets a little drunk. A security guard at the casino escorts Jenny off the casino floor and takes her to a back room where he sexually assaults her. Jenny can sue the casino for negligent hiring and retention.

Nevada Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

In Nevada, there have been recent legislative changes aimed at facilitating the pursuit of civil lawsuits by victims of child sexual abuse. These laws significantly extend the statute of limitations, allowing victims to bring legal action even many years after the abuse occurred. Under the revised statutes, individuals who have been subjected to child sexual abuse or exploitation in Nevada now have until their 38th birthday (which includes the age of majority, 18, plus an additional 20 years) to file a civil lawsuit. Nevada Revised Statutes § 11.215.

Nevada Sexual Abuse Settlements and Verdicts

$200,000 Settlement: A minor plaintiff was sexually molested while at a day care center. The plaintiff contended that the day care center failed to follow-up on complaints or properly supervise the day care center where other minor children were molested by their pre-school teacher.

$500,000 Verdict: The plaintiff claimed he suffered an incident of sexual molestation as a child committed by a priest working for the defendant, Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. The plaintiff contended the defendant sent the priest, who was a known child molesting agent because of previous complaints about him over several decades, to Nevada, where the defendant knew he would have unlimited access to children; the plaintiff claimed the defendant was negligent in failing to warn the police, parishioners, children or parents of the Nevada parish about the priest’s long history of sexually molesting children and allowing the priest to go to Nevada with a good recommendation to his new Bishop, even though it knew about the priest’s sexual history. The defendant claimed there was no duty to warn because there was no special relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff on his negligence claim but not on the fraud or punitive damages claims.

$120,835 Settlement: The plaintiff, a female minor, was sexually abused over a period of 3 months on at least 7 different occasions. The abuse was discovered when she went to the hospital and an examination found signs of abuse and found that she contracted an STD as a result. She sued the individual who committed the abuse and his employer.

$160,000 Settlement: A 15-year-old mentally handicap girl was attending an adaptive recreation program run by the city of Las Vegas when another program participant (an 18-year-old male) allegedly kissed her on the mouth and groped her genitals several times without her consent as they rode a bus to and from a bowling alley. She sued the city for negligence.

$120,000 Settlement: A 4-year-old boy was placed in a foster home where he was sexually abused by another child who was also in the home. He sued the county social services department for negligently placing him in a home when it knew about the other child’s aggressive tendencies.

$38,000 Settlement: A female high-school student alleged that he school counselor and basketball coach sexually abused her. She sued the school district alleging that it knew or should have known about the teacher’s actions and did nothing to stop them.

Nevada Sex Abuse News & Updates:

April 12, 2024: New Cosby Sex Abuse Lawsuit

A new Bill Cosby lawsuit was filed in Clark County.  The case stems from an incident in 1976 when the plaintiff was 19 years old. Her lawsuit reads like many of the other Cosby lawsuits.  He had a pattern.  They met at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, and her invited her to attend his show. Following the performance, the plaintiff was led backstage, where the defendant provided her with Quaaludes, a hypnotic sedative, which he had acquired under false pretenses by misrepresenting his medical need to a prescribing doctor.

The Quaaludes rendered her unable to consent to the ensuing sexual encounter. Cosby is accused of premeditatedly drugging the plaintiff to facilitate sexual battery. The complaint details that the plaintiff experienced severe emotional distress, psychological trauma, and physical injuries as a direct result of the defendant’s actions.

This lawsuit leverages Senate Bill No. 129 (SB129), which, effective May 31, 2023, eliminated the statute of limitations for victims of sexual battery to seek damages. The plaintiff’s legal team argues that the defendant’s conduct was not only willful and unlawful but also malicious and oppressive, warranting punitive damages to deter similar future conduct.

April 9, 2024:  Attorneys’ Fees Limits Proposed

A group representing sexual assault survivors and a trial lawyers association are challenging a proposal to cap the percentage of fees an attorney can collect in civil cases. They argue that it would hinder victims’ access to the legal representation needed to sue Uber in court. The initiative aims to cap attorneys’ fees at 20 percent to ensure plaintiffs receive what proponents call a “fair share” of awards in civil cases.

Uber Sexual Assault Survivors for Legal Accountability and the Nevada Justice Association filed a challenge on Monday in District Court, narrowly meeting the 15-day deadline to oppose the Uber-backed initiative petition. The lawsuit seeks to block the petition from gathering signatures, claiming it does not comply with state statute and the Nevada Constitution and arguing that the proposal is another tactic by Uber to silence survivors.

Limits on attorneys’ fees in civil cases will restrict victims’ access to experienced legal representation, as lawyers will be less willing to take on complex or high-cost cases with capped earnings. This disproportionately benefits large companies like Uber, who pay their lawyers by the hour.

Contact Us About Nevada Sex Abuse Lawsuits

If you were the victim of sexual abuse and want to file a sex abuse lawsuit in Nevada  contact us today at 800-553-8082.

 

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