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California Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Reach Supreme Court

January 4, 2012 — The California Supreme Court is set to hear two California Sexual Abuse lawsuits, which comes at a time of heightened national attention to the issue of sexual abuse after a massive scandal at Penn State involving Jerry Sandusky. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a lawyer at The Schmidt Firm, PLLC for a California sexual abuse lawsuit.

The first case in the Supreme Court involves the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases brought against clergy members of the Roman Catholic Church. In 2003, there was a major sexual abuse scandal involving members of the clergy. The courts created a one-year window for victims to bring cases that had previously been time-barred because the statute of limitations had run out. Nearly 1,000 California sexual abuse lawsuits were filed, and the Roman Catholic Church spent more than $1 billion resolving the cases.

This case against the church is brought by six brothers who say they were all abused by one Oakland priest in 1972. The question the court is debating is whether to limit the church’s liability to cases brought during the one-year window, or whether the church is permanently liable for new claims. If the court finds the Roman Catholic Church permanently liable, the brothers will have a case.

The second California sexual abuse lawsuit before the Supreme Court concerns a boy who was molested by his female guidance counselor, Roselyn Hubbell, in 2007. The matter being decided is whether public entities, such as schools, can be held vicariously liable when their employees sexually abuse children. School officials reported the abuse to police. The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the boy has no case against the school, but the final decision will be made by the California Supreme Court. The boy’s lawyer argues that school districts have a duty to keep children safe.

If the court finds public institutions permanently liable for the actions of their employees, it is likely that there will be many lawsuits in the future. The California Legislature has previously carved out an exception that shields public employees from being sued when they are negligent during their work duties. Whether this exception will permanently extend to shied child molesters has yet to be determined.

The lawyers advocating for victims of child sexual abuse said that recent allegations against the Penn State coaches serve as a reminder that it can sometimes take decades before victims decide to seek justice and legal action against their molesters for the permanent psychological injury caused by sexual abuse.

How do I contact a Lawyer for a California Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting sexual abuse cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our California Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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