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Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick's Blog

Ex-Catholic school coach accused of sexual abuse in 1960s

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An increasing number of lawsuits continue to surface as a result of New York’s Child Victim Rights, which extended the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases, allowing victims of decades-old cases to confront this issue and their abusers while seeking monetary reparations.

Among the latest cases involve a former Catholic gym teacher and coach, accused of molesting 21 boys in three different New York cities. The lawsuits -- the earliest ones surfacing in November -- claim that church officials of the Archdiocese of New York had knowledge of the abuse and continued to employ Edwin Gaynor, allowing him to coach at another Catholic school. A total of 18 of the lawsuits relate to incidents in Scarsdale, two in Hawthorne and one in White Plains.

Former figure skater seeks $10 million for alleged sexual abuse

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In the latest high-profile case that spotlights New York’s Child Victims Act that allows decades-old sexual assault cases to get their day in court, a former figure skater has filed a civil lawsuit against a highly regarded coach for misconduct in the 1970s.

In the federal case filed in Buffalo, Craig Maurizi – a once-promising competitive skater now in his 50s – seeks $10 million from coach Richard Callaghan and three figure skating organization co-defendants – the Buffalo Skating Club, the Professional Skaters Association and the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Maurizi initially came forward in 1999 with his accusations against Callaghan.

Decades-old allegations lead to lawsuit against New York church

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A Staten Island church is among the more recent worshipping organizations tainted by alleged sexual assault charges committed by one of its pastors more than 40 years ago. A lawsuit filed in mid-July against the Reformed Church of Huguenot Park claims that the church neglected appropriate oversight and failed to recognize signs of an inappropriate relationship.

The lawsuit claims that Rev. Richard P. Don sexually abused a young parishioner in the late 1970s leading to psychological and physical injuries. The victim seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages. As a boy, the victim worked at the church, served on its bell choir and was a parishioner from 1976 to 1980. Don died at the age of 74 in a 2016 car accident in Florida, where he had served as a minister.

Survivors of Boy Scout sexual abuse must file a claim by November

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As part of the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy proceedings, a November 16th deadline has been set for survivors to file claims of sexual abuse. The court has approved a “proof of claim” form. Any survivors who intend to make a claim must complete this form and file it with the court.

You must file a proof of claim form before the November deadline. Your claim will be forever barred if you fail to meet the deadline, even if you live in a state where the statute of limitations doesn’t apply to claims of childhood sexual abuse.

Legislature extends one-year “look-back” window

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The ongoing pandemic has caused upheaval in all areas of society, including the legal system. There were concerns that time would run out yet again for survivors of child sexual abuse. Many people have called for an extension of lawsuits allowed under the Child Victims Act. The order was set to expire in August.

The good news is the legislature voted to extend the filing deadline another year. Survivors of child sexual abuse now have until August of 2021 to file a suit under the Child Victims Act.

Boy Scout councils face lawsuits in upstate New York

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The troubles continue for the Boy Scouts of America and will not stop until all matters related to its decades-long sexual abuse of thousands of boys concludes. But when will that happen? Not any time soon, especially with recent lawsuits in upstate New York.

Filed on May 18, the nine lawsuits against Boy Scout councils in the state are the latest of what promises to be hundreds more legal cases against the organization. Plaintiffs in the cases were Scouts decades ago and allege sexual abuse from scoutmasters and leaders. The organization faces many more lawsuits throughout New York, New Jersey, California and other states.

State’s Child Victims Act ruled constitutional

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Survivors of sexual abuse received another legal endorsement when a New York state supreme court justice ruled in mid-May that the state’s Child Victims Act was constitutional. Justice Steven M. Jaeger upheld the law, which went into effect in early 2019 and temporarily eliminates the statute of limitations for lawsuits stemming from child sexual abuse.

Advocates applauded the decision, which occurred in Nassau County and was the result of a legal challenge made by the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island. The diocese in November sought to dismiss the more than 40 Child Victims Act cases it. Jaeger wrote that the law was a “reasonable response to remedy the injustice of past child sexual abuse.” Although the decision occurred in Nassau County, it will have statewide implications

How is child sex abuse allowed to happen?

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Sexual abuse in childhood is far more common than most people realize. Since the New York Child Victims Act went into effect last August, more than 1,300 victims have come forward, filing lawsuits under the Act’s one-year window of time for pursuing justice. And that number likely represents only a small fraction of adults who were sexually abused as children.

While many of those claims involve abuse that happened years or even decades ago, child sexual abuse remains a widespread problem. According to The Advocacy Group, a staggering 1 in 3 girls – and 1 in 5 boys – experience sexual abuse before the age of 18.

How child sex abuse impacts a survivor’s financial future

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The long-term impacts of child sex abuse are well-documented. A survivor often deals with the repercussions the rest of their life, working to overcome mental and physical health conditions on their road to recovery.

Less talked about are the financial ramifications of child sex abuse. One study, however, begins to shed some light on how survivors may face significant financial burdens due to their trauma.

Childhood Sexual Abuse Victims: The importance of filing now

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Being a victim of childhood sexual abuse negatively affects individuals as they progress into their adult lives. The consequences that follow them intervene with both their personal and professional lives.

While many men and women might not have felt comfortable speaking up or never had the chance, the New York government is now giving them that opportunity.

Past President NYSTLA
Big Apple | Pothole & Sidewalk Protection Committee
Trial Lawyers Care
Super Lawyers
Take Justice Back | www.takejusticeback.com
Life Member | Million Dollar Advocates Forum | Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum | The Top Trial Lawyers in America
American Association for Justice Leaders Forum | Benefactor 2017
American Association for Justice | Sustaining Member
Avvo Rating | 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Medical Malpractice
10 Best 2017-2018 2 Years Attorney | Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys
Past President NYSTLA
Big Apple | Pothole & Sidewalk Protection Committee
Trial Lawyers Care
Super Lawyers
Take Justice Back | www.takejusticeback.com
Life Member | Million Dollar Advocates Forum | Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum | The Top Trial Lawyers in America
American Association for Justice Leaders Forum | Patron 2015
American Association for Justice | Sustaining Member 2015
Avvo Rating | 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Medical Malpractice
10 Best 2017-2018 2 Years Attorney | Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys

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