Legal Changes Opening Doors for Sexual Abuse Survivors
These survivors are sharing their stories to help others come forward.
Like many other clergy sexual abuse survivors, our clients Diana, Keith, and Stanley knew no one would believe their stories about what predators had done to them—the church was above reproach. For decades they suffered in silence, too late to seek justice. Today, new Statute of Limitations laws are extending the legal rights of sexual abuse survivors. More than compensation, they now have a chance to hold their abusers and those who protected them accountable.
The Janet, Janet & Suggs Sex Abuse Division has helped thousands of survivors against:
- Schools and universities
- Hospitals and doctor’s offices
- Athletic facilities
- Workplaces and other organizations
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OUR SUCCESSFUL ADVOCACY BEGINS WITH LISTENING
We understand that there is no verdict or settlement that can erase the pain and memories that survivors endure. Cases of this nature are not simply about compensation or what that compensation can do for survivors of sexual abuse and their families. These cases are also about holding abusers and their enablers accountable, thus protecting other innocent individuals from being sexually abused in the future.
All communications with clients are confidential and privileged. If we were to file a lawsuit on your behalf, we could identify you only as a Jane Doe or John Doe.
NEW LAWS HELP SURVIVORS, BUT DON’T MISS LEGAL DEADLINES
Statute of Limitations (SOL) laws have prevented many victims from coming forward, and actually protected those responsible for allowing these predators to continue their abuse, even after it was reported. Across the country, however, SOL laws are now changing. Many states have passed or are working to pass new laws that allow survivors to seek justice from abusers and their protectors, no matter what age they were at the time of their abuse or where they currently reside.
But the windows of opportunity provided in some of these new laws won’t stay open forever. Some states’ windows are open for as little as a year. Don’t wait! To seek justice and compensation, you will need to move quickly to put an experienced sex abuse litigation team to work for you. Though a survivor may now live in a different state from where the crime occurred and/or the abuser may be dead, the organizations and the leaders that shielded these perpetrators are still responsible and should be held accountable.
Richard M. Serbin
Chair, JJS Sex Abuse Division | Richard is a crusader in the fight against sexual abuse by clergy and author of When Clergy Fail Their Flocks.
Fifteen years before reports of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church circulated in newspapers around the world, before the public believed priests could do any wrong, Richard Serbin was fighting to expose the appalling actions of priests and church leaders. For decades, these “men of God” concealed evidence and accounts of child molestation, pornography, abuse and rape of innocent boys and girls in “secret archives.” Because of Richard’s work, these archives have been brought to light. Richard secured the only jury verdict against a priest predator, bishops and diocese in Pennsylvania to date and one of only a handful at the time in the country.
His work on behalf of victims has been featured in numerous national outlets, including The Daily Beast, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Tribune-Democrat, The Tribune Review, and the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Serbin was recently featured in the 2019 Pennsylvania/Delaware Super Lawyers® edition for his work uncovering the truth behind clergy sexual abuse.
Andrew S. Janet
Vice-Chair, JJS Sex Abuse Division | Andrew is actively involved in representing survivors of sexual abuse including:
- Serving as liaison counsel for hundreds of sexual abuse survivors in litigation against the University of Southern California regarding allegations of sexual misconduct by its former gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.
- Representing survivors of sexual abuse against priests, as well as the churches, dioceses, bishops, and orphanages that enabled the abuse and kept it a secret, both in litigation and compensation funds.
- Collaborating on litigation strategy, researching a variety of issues, and reviewing and managing intakes for sexual abuse victims.
Natalie C. D’Antonio
As a member of the JJS Sexual Abuse Division, Natalie D’Antonio’s practice primarily focuses on representing victims of abuse. She specializes in cases against institutions that enable that abuse, including the Catholic Church, schools, hospitals, and countless others.
Prior to joining JJS, Natalie served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Anne Arundel County. There, she worked in the Special Victim’s Unit, prosecuting on behalf of victims of domestic violence, intimate partner rape, and sexual assault.
"At JJS, we are relentless advocates for victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. We leave no stone unturned to ensure a full measure of justice is served and that those responsible for these heinous acts are held accountable."
Howard A. Janet, Managing Principal—Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC
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