Victims of sexual abuse or a 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 to occur. Almost any type of criminal sexual conduct or unwanted sexual contact can form the basis for a sexual abuse or sexual assault lawsuit.
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.
- 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 sexual 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 arbitrationruling 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 sexual 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 they were sexually assaulted by a former team doctor on the football team. The University recently announced that it has reached a settlement in which it will pay $490 million to resolve the cases. $460 million will be disbursed among 1,050 claimants, which works out to 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 that she was sexually assaulted by a massage therapist employed by the day spa. The employee was criminally charged and sentenced to 1-year in jail 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 countelss 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 a period of 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 2 former school employees sexually abuse numerous students over a period of 40 years. In 2019, a similar investigation at another private school in the Baltimore area identified 10 staff members who engaged in sexual misconduct. These reports prompted the Maryland legislature to propose a new law that would 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 a total of $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. 70 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 ended up paying 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 a 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 that 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.
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