Delivering Justice for Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse in Maryland
Clergy sexual abuse survivors now have all the more reason to speak up instead of suffering in silence. On April 11, 2023, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed the Child Victims Act of 2023. The bill retroactively eliminates the statute of limitations for future lawsuits over childhood sexual abuse.
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All communications with clients are confidential to the extent permissible by law, and privileged. While some survivors are comfortable sharing their names publicly, others may prefer maintaining privacy in these matters. If we were to file a lawsuit on your behalf, we could identify you only as a Jane Doe or John Doe.
A Track Record of Success
JJS has been helping clients in need for over 40 years, representing thousands of sexual abuse survivors against abusers and those who protected them. All told, we have recovered over $3 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients, including historic recoveries on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse.
Damning Report from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office
In April 2023, the Maryland AG’s office publicly released a redacted version of a 4-year investigative report that details sexual abuse allegations against more than 150 Catholic priests. The report also examined the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response.
As reported by NPR, prosecutors wrote “Sexual abuse was so pervasive that some parishes, congregations and schools had more than one abusive priest at the same time—including one congregation where 11 abusive priests practiced over 40 years. In some cases, victims ended up reporting abuse to priests who were abusive themselves.
The investigation also revealed that the archdiocese failed to report many allegations of sexual abuse to authorities, conduct adequate investigations, remove abusers from the ministry or restrict their access to children.”
"The shame, embarrassment, feeling of low self-worth, and scores of 'labels' we give ourselves are not fitting. He was a big man, I was a little boy."
- Catholic clergy sex abuse survivor
Significant Recoveries in High-Profile Sexual Abuse Cases
Sexual abuse is life-altering, causing severe emotional and psychological trauma. It can bring about costly medical bills, mental health conditions, and the inability to work. Our team of trial attorneys has a proven track record of taking on tough cases involving some of the nation’s largest and most prestigious organizations—including the Catholic church—and winning.
JJS has secured justice and compensation for our clients that includes:
- $842.4 million in a sexual abuse case against the University of Southern California. Individual claims resolved for an average award of $1.2 million per client. This is the largest settlement in a sexual abuse case in U.S. history and the largest award against a university. This was a settlement achieved by the efforts of multiple firms. JJS represented the second largest group of clients, 139 out of 702.
- $243.6 million in a sexual abuse case against University of California, Los Angeles. This was a settlement that resulted from the efforts of multiple firms. JJS represented dozens of the 203 plaintiffs.
- $190 million in a sexual abuse class action case against Johns Hopkins Hospital where JJS served as co-lead counsel. For his efforts in this litigation, JJS Managing Principal Howard Janet was named Lawyer of the Year by the Maryland Association for Justice.
- Confidential 7-figure settlement on behalf of “Victim 6” against Penn State University for conduct of former coach Jerry Sandusky.
Meet Our Sexual Abuse Division Leaders
The team includes, among others:
- Richard M. Serbin, who the media has described as a “crusader” for survivors of sexual abuse
- Andrew S. Janet, who has represented hundreds of sexual abuse survivors, including women who were sexually exploited by an OBGYN at USC’s university health center
- Patrick Thronson, who has represented survivors of clergy sexual abuse and human trafficking, as well as hundreds of women who were sexually abused by an “OBGYN” who obtained a medical license under false pretenses
- Matthew White, who advocates for victims that suffered through sexual abuse as children at the hands of religious organizations and in other institutional settings
- Howard A. Janet, a compassionate advocate for sexual abuse survivors who has won record-breaking recoveries in a wide range of high-profile cases
- Adina Katz, who has represented children in a wide range of abuse and neglect cases
- Rita M. Gribko, who has over 25 years of litigation experience in civil, family, and criminal practice—most significantly representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse
"The priest that I reported it to was somebody that our family trusted. Without hesitation he said to let it go…just forget about it."
- Catholic clergy sex abuse survivor
Respectful, Compassionate and Determined
We pride ourselves on treating survivors and all of our clients with respect and compassion. We leave no stone unturned in our effort to maximize our clients’ compensation and help them move forward.