Crime Victim Injury Lawyers in Pennsylvania & New Jersey
Page last reviewed and updated: October 9, 2017
— Representation by a Former Sex Crimes Unit Prosecutor —
YouTube Video – A Portion of Brian Kent’s Interview at the National Crime Victims Bar Association Conference (2014)
Below is a portion of Mr. Kent’s interview about his representation of a child sexual abuse victim in a civil lawsuit against a sitting state court judge who was later removed from the bench and disbarred. The molestation acts were outside the scope of the criminal statute of limitations, which meant that the individual could not be charged with any crime.
Due to a special civil law, the client was able to file a civil lawsuit against his abuser. Laffey, Bucci & Kent took on the case despite receiving backlash from the legal community and even received some threats. However, they succeeded and their client was able to obtain justice. The perpetrator admitted the abuse.
As a former sex crimes unit prosecutor, Brian Kent is passionate about justice for all crime victims. Prior to entering the civil arena, he worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County, PA where he prosecuted sex offenders. This background gives him a unique perspective on civil liability in criminal cases that result in physical and emotional injuries. He knows how to conduct the civil case while any criminal case is pending, in order to maximize a victim’s chance of financial recovery.
Recent Post: New Jersey Crime Victim Injury Lawsuits – Other Parties May Be Liable [Under New Jersey law, victims of crime may file civil lawsuits against both criminal perpetrators as well as other parties or entities which acted negligently.]
Results by Our PA & NJ Crime Victim Injury Lawyers
- $4.4 million – A bar/restaurant liability and car accident case against a restaurant for over serving a patron who then caused a drunk driving accident which resulted in two deaths and serious injuries
- $1.1 million – A case against a fraternity for negligently serving alcohol at a party resulting in a fight and stabbing assault of two party guests
- Six Figure Recovery – Molestation case against sitting state court judge who admitted to the abuse, resigned from the bench and was then disbarred. Read more about this successful sex abuse lawsuit.
- Six Figure Recovery – For family of murder victim who was shot and killed in his apartment complex
Recent Crime Victim Injury Cases in Pennsylvania & New Jersey
Our crime victim injury attorneys are currently handling cases across the country, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Here is a list of some of the recent cases we’ve filed or are investigating.
Sexual Molestation at a New Jersey Pre-K and Nursery – Our lawyers are investigating a South New Jersey pre-school after a teacher’s aide allegedly touched a young child’s genitals. The pre-school is affiliated with a local Lutheran church. A lawsuit filed by our lawyers allege that the school failed to warn parents of the danger, despite prior reports of inappropriate contact. The case has been covered by Philly.com, Fox 29 News and Nj.com. Read more about this NJ school sex abuse case involving ReJoyce Christian School in Hainesport, NJ.
Estate of Karlie Hall v. Millersville University et al. Our Pennsylvania crime victims lawyers filed a lawsuit in January 2017 alleging that a university and other parties including a fraternity are liable for the assault and murder of a freshman who was beaten to death in her dorm room. A criminal case against the perpetrator was covered extensively by both local and national media. Read more about Hall v. Millersville University.
Child Sex Abuse at a Delaware Nursery School – Our crime victim injury law group is investigating a Delaware nursery school after a school employee was caught on video engaging in inappropriate behavior with a young child. Parents of students at the school have voiced concern that they weren’t apprised of the matter in a timely fashion.
L.B. and T.B. v. Seventh-Day Adventist Church et al. Case #: 17-C-146 (West Virginia). Our lawyers have filed a lawsuit alleging extensive physical abuse and sexual abuse at Seventh Day Adventist boarding schools in West Virginia and Tennessee. The plaintiffs were only 11 and 12 at the time of the alleged abuse. The case was covered by the Washington Post. See A Christian school said it helped troubled kids. It covered up sex abuse instead, lawsuit says.
Legal Rights of Crime Victims
Crimes are often devastating for both the victim and their loved ones. Life may never be the same. Serious physical assaults, shootings, and sexual assault can cause long-lasting emotional and mental pain. Many victims of crime develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Some will become completely disabled by their physical and mental injuries.
There are many government and non-profit organizations devoted to helping victims of crime. Some offer counseling, some offer practical help in finding jobs, food, transportation, and the like. Others help family members cope with the indirect impact the crime has had on their lives.
Monetary Compensation for Crime Victim Injuries
However, too few victims of crime are provided with monetary compensation for the injuries they have sustained – despite the fact that crime victims often suffer severe physical, mental/emotional and financial consequences as a result of the crime. Many victims of crime need medical treatment and extensive therapy. The Philadelphia, PA and NJ crime victims rights lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent fight for crime victims, helping them obtain fair and reasonable financial compensation.
Other Parties are Often Liable
Under tort or injury laws of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, crime victims are entitled to make claims for compensation against not only the criminal defendant (direct perpetrator), but any entity, business, corporation, etc. which caused or contributed to the crime and injury. Other parties may have acted indirectly, thus allowing the abuse to occur or continue.
Example 1 – Priest or Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit
A church organization such as a diocese or church organization may bear civil liability, in addition to the actual perpetrator (priest/clergy member). A typical example involves a child or young adult who is sexually assaulted or abused by a church employee. If there is sufficient evidence that church officials knew of the abusive conduct or propensities of the perpetrator, the victim may have a valid legal claim against the church organization. Visit our priest and clergy abuse law library for more legal info.
Example 2 – Teacher or School Employee Abuse Lawsuit
Likewise, in a situation where a teacher or other school employee such as a coach, principal, etc., sexually abuses a student, the school itself may be sued in a subsequent civil lawsuit. This is in addition to the direct perpetrator, the actual school employee who carried the acts of abuse or assault.
In these cases, the basis of the school’s liability is the failure to provide proper training to school employees, thus allowing the abuse to occur and/or continue. Visit our school/teacher abuse law library for more legal info.
Example 3 – Alcohol Injury-Accident Lawsuit
In cases where alcohol or drug use leads to an accident or injury, not only can the direct perpetrator be held legally responsible, but other entities may be held liable. The typical example involves a DUI car accident in which the bar or restaurant is held liable for serving alcohol to the DUI driver prior to the accident. An injured passenger or driver of another car may have a valid claim against the bar or restaurant. The same theory applies to cases in which negligence in serving alcohol leads to an assault (i.e., college hazing injuries).
- Pennsylvania High School Sex Abuse Scandal Nears End – Teachers Get Jail, Victims Get Justice (August 17th, 2017) A PA high school teacher sex abuse scandal resulted in arrests of two teachers and multiple convictions of sex abuse of students. A grand jury found the school administration created an environment where reports of misconduct were largely ignored. Civil lawsuits alleging violation of federal constitutional rights are expected to be resolved.
- Philadelphia Pre-School Owner Charged with Sex Assault of Young Kids (August 03rd, 2017) Duncan Round of Sprouts daycare center in South Philadelphia was arrested, faces over a dozen child sex abuse charges. Police alleged Round sexually abused two 5 year old children at the daycare center.
Common Defendants in a Crime Victim’s Injury Lawsuit
- school districts
- religious institutions
- residential and commercial landlords
- property owners
- property management companies
- shopping centers
- child care centers
Types of Civil Claims a Crime Victim Can Make
- sexual assault and sexual abuse
- premises liability
- wrongful death
- negligent security
- negligent hiring/retention
- gross negligence
- intentional/negligent infliction of emotional distress
- punitive damages
Civil Legal Rights for Victims of Crime – Filing Lawsuits
Civil personal injury law may, in many instances, provide victims of crime a civil battleground where they can find justice for the wrongs done to them. There is no law that prohibits a crime victim from pursuing a civil case just because the State is prosecuting a criminal matter. Two high profile examples which received heavy media coverage demonstrate this point:
- The family of Bonnie Lee Blakely sued Robert Blake for her wrongful death, even though Blake was found innocent of her murder in the criminal case.
- The family of Ron Goldman won a civil wrongful death suit against O.J. Simpson for the death of their son and brother, even though Simpson was found criminally innocent of Mr. Goldman’s killing.
Help for Crime Victims in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware
At the Philadelphia crime victims rights law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, our experienced attorneys are committed to providing quality representation and individual attention to their clients and their clients’ families. The personal injury attorneys at Laffey, Bucci & Kent have extensive experience handling crime victims’ civil matters. Their knowledge and expertise in dealing with defense counsel as well as insurance company representatives and adjusters can be invaluable when seeking justice in a personal injury/crime victim’s justice matter.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt or killed as a result of the criminal conduct of another in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or New York, contact our experienced, highly rated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey crime victims rights lawyers for a free, confidential consultation. 215.399.9255/800.220.7600
Our personal injury attorneys are licensed in multiple states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. They also work with lawyers nationwide and can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.