Sex Abuse Settlements

Victims of sexual abuse or sexual assault can often get financial compensation for their pain and suffering by bringing a civil lawsuit against the abuser or the employer/organization that enabled the abuse. Almost any type of criminal sexual conduct or unwanted sexual contact can form the basis for a sexual abuse or sexual assault lawsuit.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Settlement Amounts in Sex Abuse Lawsuits
Statute of Limitations in Child Abuse Cases

Compensation in a sexual abuse lawsuit can be awarded for things such as medical bills (including mental health counseling), lost wages or income, and pain & suffering (including mental anguish resulting from the abuse). The most successful sexual abuse lawsuits are those in which a corporation or institution can be held liable. When the abuse occurs at a school, church, hospital, etc., that entity can potentially be liable for civil damages. This is particularly true if the abuser was an employee of the school, church, hospital, or facility.

Recent Sexual Abuse Settlements, Lawsuits, and News

Below are recent verdicts, settlements, new lawsuits, and other news stories relating to sexual abuse and sexual assault lawsuits in civil courts.

  • Archdiocese of Baltimore Files BankruptcyDays before a new law in Maryland was going to lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil lawsuits, the Archdiocese of Baltimore (expected to be the primary target under the new law) filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Other dioceses and archdioceses have also filed bankruptcy to deal with child sex abuse liabilities. It does not mean that victims won’t get compensation, it just means that the settlement process will have to be done in the bankruptcy proceeding, and claimants will likely get somewhat less than they would have otherwise.
  • Royal Rangers Settle Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit (March 2022): The Assemblies of God Church recently settled a sexual assault lawsuit filed in Oregon by a group of men who alleged that they were sexually abused as children while participating as “scouts” in the Royal Rangers Christian youth program. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. The Royal Rangers is a Christian youth program like the boy scouts. The recently settled lawsuit is one of several sex abuse claims made against the Rangers recently. The Royal Ranger troop leaders accused of the assault were previously convicted criminally.
  • Former Nike Coach Accused of Sexually Assaulting Athlete (February 2022): A recent arbitration ruling revealed that famed running coach Alberto Salazar (previously with the Nike Oregon Project) received a lifetime ban from the sport after the arbitrator found that he sexually assaulted an athlete on several occasions. In October 2021, former track phenom Mary Cain filed a lawsuit against Salazar and Nike, seeking $20 million in damages for alleged verbal and physical abuse while Salazar was her coach.
  • U. of Michigan Settles Sexual Abuse Case for $490 Million (January 2022): Over 1,000 former student-athletes have filed lawsuits against the University of Michigan claiming that a former team doctor on the football team sexually assaulted them. The University recently announced that it had reached a settlement to pay $490 million to resolve the cases. $460 million will be disbursed among 1,050 claimants, roughly $438k per plaintiff (although distribution will not be equal). The remaining $60 million will be held in reserve for potential future claimants if they bring their claim before 7/31/23.
  • $609,010 Verdict in Sex Abuse Case Against CT Day Spa (August 2021): A jury in Waterbury, Connecticut, awarded $609,010 in damages in a sexual assault lawsuit against the Viso Bella Day Spa. The woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist employed by the day spa. The employee was criminally charged and sentenced to 1-year imprisonment for the incident.
  • $73 million Settlement Approved in UCLA Gynecologist Abuse Case (July 2021): A judge in California formally approves a $73 million class settlement in the class-action sexual abuse case against former UCLA gynecologist Dr. James Heap. The lawsuit alleged that from 1983 to 2018, Dr. Heap groped countless patients and simulated sexual intercourse with an ultrasound probe during examinations at the UCLA Medical Center.
  • School District in WA Pays $4.2 Million for Sexual Abuse of Student (June 2021): The Issaquah School District in King County, Washington, agreed to pay $4.25 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that a former middle school teacher sexually assaulted a student. The lawsuit was filed by Courtney Dennis, who claimed that her middle school drama teacher, Richard Buckley, sexually assaulted her over several years, beginning when she was 12. Buckley was later criminally convicted of sexually assaulting another girl.
  • Abuse at Baltimore Private Schools Helps Push for New Laws (March 2021): An extensive investigation at the Gilman School, one of Baltimore’s oldest and most prestigious private schools, confirmed allegations that two former school employees sexually abused numerous students over 40 years. In 2019, a similar investigation at another private school in the Baltimore area identified ten staff members who engaged in sexual misconduct. These reports prompted the Maryland legislature to propose a new law to eliminate the statute of limitations for civil sex abuse lawsuits in Maryland. Current Maryland law requires victims of childhood sexual abuse to file a lawsuit by age 38.
  • $19.2 Million Settlement with Catholic Diocese in Pittsburg (February 2021): The Catholic Diocese in Pittsburg, PA, announced that its third-party claims administration awarded $19.2 million to settle 224 claims of clergy sexual abuse (an average payout of $86,000 per victim). The claimants alleged that they were sexually abused as children by 99 different priests from the Pittsburg Diocese. The claims administration received a total of 369 claims of sexual abuse. Seventy claims were determined to be ineligible, 23 claims were abandoned, and 52 of the claimants rejected the settlement offers and pursued litigation. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia had a similar program and paid out $44 million to 208 certified claimants.
  • USA Figure Skating Settles Sex Abuse Case for $1.45 Million (January 2021): USA Figure Skating agreed to settle a lawsuit by a former skater who claims that his coach, Richard Callaghan, sexually assaulted him as a teenager. The lawsuit claimed that USA Figure Skating was liable for negligently failing to supervise the coach and prevent the abuse from happening.
  • $46.7 Million Settlement in Ohio State Sex Abuse Lawsuit (October 2020): Ohio State University paid $46,700,000 to settle civil lawsuits brought by 185 former students who claimed they were sexually abused by a former football team doctor, Richard Strauss (deceased). The plaintiffs, who claimed Dr. Strauss groped them during physical exams, received an average payout of around $252,000.

What is the average settlement for childhood molestation?

The average settlement payout for a child molestation civil lawsuit against an organization such as a church or school is around $450,000 to $950,000. The potential settlement value of any individual molestation case will depend on a number of factors which are unique to each case. Once of the most significant factors is whether there is a viable third party defendant such as a corporation or organization (e.g., a church or school) that can be held liable for negligently failing to stop the sexual abuse. If you have valid claims against a third-party defendant with deep pockets it will significantly increase the settlement value of your case.

How long does is take to settle a clergy abuse case?

A clergy sexual abuse civil lawsuit can take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to settle, and some case might take even longer. The time frame is largely dependent on the status of the third party defendant and whether their strategy is to litigate the case or pursue an early settlement. Many churches prefer to settle clergy sex abuse cases quickly without drawing out the litigation. However, the Catholic Church in many cities has filed bankruptcy in response to clergy sex abuse liabilities. In those cases, the settlement has to go through the bankruptcy process and it takes significantly longer.

Average Settlement for Clergy Abuse

The average settlement payout for clergy sexual abuse lawsuits is between $375,000 and $700,000. This is based on publicly reported settlements, bankruptcy settlement payouts, and jury verdicts in clergy abuse cases. The potential settlement value of an individual case will depend on a variety of factors including the nature and severity of the abuse, and the status of the church named as a defendant. If you have viable claims against the church for negligently allowing the abuse to occur, and the church has not filed for bankruptcy, the settlement value of your case will be higher.

Boy Scouts Abuse Settlement Calculator

Boy Scouts of America filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in response to a wave of child sex abuse lawsuits. As a result, victims of BSA sex abuse had to negotiate a settlement within the bankruptcy proceeding. Eventually, a $2.46 billion dollar settlement trust fund arrangement was approved by the bankruptcy court. Under the settlement deal, abuse victims have the option of accepting a quick, but smaller settlement payout without having to do much to prove their claim; or doing a little more leg work and qualifying for a larger settlement payout.

Contact Us About Your Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

If you want to pursue a sexual abuse lawsuit, we want to help you, and we will handle your inquiry gently. Contact us today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online for a free consultation. There is no obligation to you. You can even call just to get information and get your questions answered.

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