Lawyers for Victims of Sex Abuse by Doctors, Psychologists, Etc.
Representation by a Team of Former Prosecutors
Three of our firm’s lawyers are former prosecutors who’ve guided sex assault and abuse victims through the criminal justice system. Firm founder Brian Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor who now leads the firm’s Sex Abuse Victims’ Law Practice which includes attorneys Guy D’Andrea and Stewart Ryan. Both are highly skilled former prosecutors who now fight for victims in the civil courts. Guy D’Andrea’s trial record includes over 80 jury trials and 500 bench trials. Most recently, Stewart Ryan was one of the lead attorneys in the criminal prosecution against Bill Cosby in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Commonwealth v. William H. Cosby Jr. After a mistrial, the Cosby case resulted in a guilty verdict in 2018.
The Problem of Sex Assault & Abuse in Medicine
Physical, mental or sexual abuse by medical health providers occurs every day in this country. No medical profession is immune. Sexual abuse of patients and clients is often committed by:
- message therapists,
- mental health therapists (psychologists), or
- nursing home employees.
In a hospital or medical office setting, patients naturally want to trust their doctors. Similarly, in a detention center, juveniles are forced to rely on guards and personnel for their care and basic needs. The unique dynamic of sexual abuse in an institutional setting is what often prevents victims from stepping forward. Perpetrators hold a great deal of power over victims, so much so that victims often fear that no one would believe them if they reported the abuse.
The reality is that many victims never step forward. Reporting institutional sexual or physical abuse is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Shame, embarrassment, fear of retribution, anxiety, depression – all these emotions and issues make it difficult for such victims to report the crimes that have been perpetrated on them.
In situations of nursing home or mental health hospital abuse, the victim might not be able to communicate the abuse. Perpetrators tend to choose victims who are unable to verbalize or otherwise communicate the abuse. Oftentimes, the victims who do step forward may find that their reports fall on deaf ears. This culture of silence certainly exists in churches and schools. Institutions like hospitals and medical facilities are no different.
Related Case Result: Six Figure Recovery – Molestation case against a sitting state court judge who admitted to the abuse, resigned from the bench, and was then disbarred.
Legal Rights of Victims of Abuse in Health Institutions (Hospitals, Homes, Etc.)
Victims of physical, mental or sexual abuse by professionals deserve justice, not only in the criminal system, but also the civil one. What the vast majority of survivors of sexual abuse don’t know is that they can seek justice in two ways: 1. file criminal charges, and 2. file a civil lawsuit. In addition, many victims don’t know that they can do both, or just file a criminal/civil case. Read about civil sex abuse lawsuits.
Too few victims of physical and sexual abuse are provided with financial compensation for the deeply personal injuries they have sustained – mentally, emotionally and physically. The civil sex abuse victims lawyers at Laffey, Bucci & Kent want to change that.
Victims of abuse by professionals are entitled to make claims for compensation against not only the perpetrator, but any entity, business, corporation, etc., which caused or contributed to the abuse, such as:
- mental health facilities,
- group homes,
- halfway homes,
- group centers, and
- nursing homes.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Laws in Civil Abuse Cases
The laws in Pennsylvania and New Jersey clearly provide for liability in cases of physical, mental and sexual abuse perpetrated by professionals. In many situations, parties other than the perpetrator are legally liable for the abuse. Any person or business acting through its employees, who failed to report or prevent the abuse after suspecting the abuse or who actively concealed the abuse, is a potential defendant. Liability is based on case law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey which establish the standard of care and liability for any of the following actions or inactions:
- failing to conduct reasonable background checks on employees,
- failing to conduct a reasonable investigation,
- hiding or concealing the abuse,
- failing to report the abuse,
- failing to prevent the abuse,
- failing to protect the victim/student,
- failing to intervene,
- failing to train employees on the policies regarding mandatory reporting of abuse,
- failing to have a policy in place regarding mandatory reporting of abuse,
- negligent supervision of patients,
- negligent supervision of employees, and
- negligent security resulting in access by criminals.
Help for Abuse Victims by Medical Professionals
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual or physical abuse 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
About Brian Kent – Legal Help in Sexual Abuse Cases
As a former sex crimes unit prosecutor, Brian Kent is passionate about justice for all victims of sexual abuse. Prior to entering the civil arena, he worked as an Assistant District Attorney prosecuting sex offenders. This gives him a unique perspective on civil liability in abuse cases. He knows how to conduct the civil case, while the criminal case may be pending, to maximize a victim’s chance of obtaining justice.
Need More Legal Info? From Our Medical Provider Abuse Law Library:
- New Jersey Doctors & Sex Assault of Patients – A Look at Recent Cases With increased reports of sex assault and abuse in the media, victims of abuse by doctors or therapists are speaking up. Within the last 2 years, several doctors across New Jersey have been accused of sexually abusing patients during medical procedures. Are medical licensing boards doing all they can to stop predators in the medical field?
- Mental Health Care Providers & Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in PA & NJ Mental health patients are often targets of sexual abuse and assault by treatment providers as well as fellow patients. Can mental health care providers be held liable for sex abuse that occurs within a facility? In many instances, the answer is yes. The key is proving that an employee of the treatment facility was negligent, and as a result, sexual abuse or assault occurred.
- Patients’ Lawsuits for Sexual Abuse by Doctors in New Jersey Patients who have suffered sexual abuse by doctors in New Jersey have legal rights to financial compensation. Here, our resident sex abuse lawyer, Brian Kent, discusses key aspects of NJ law, and how these cases are handled. Get info on what to expect.
- NJ Supreme Court Upholds Assault Victim’s Rights Against Government Gormley v. Wood-El was a June 2014 New Jersey Supreme Court case which had some serious ramifications for institutional abuse cases. In the case, a woman’s claim of abuse against a government entity was allowed to proceed.
Last reviewed and updated: June 8, 2018