Circuit Judges Challenge Timing of Sexual Abuse Claims

New York Law Journal

Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal
August 29, 2014

Lawyers for both sides in the litigation over sexual abuse at Yeshiva University High School for Boys came under intense questioning by a federal appeals panel Thursday.

Judges Reena Raggi (See Profile), Guido Calabresi (See Profile) and Denny Chin (See Profile) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit grilled the attorneys on their arguments about the statute of limitations on claims that Yeshiva was deliberately indifferent to sexual predations against 34 students by one-time principal George Finkelstein and a former teacher and student at the school.

On one side was plaintiffs’ attorney Kevin Mulhearn, who argued that Southern District Judge John Koeltl (See Profile) got it wrong in February when he held the statute of limitations expired long ago and that positive statements the school made about the abusers, even after abuse was reported, were not enough to stop the clock on the three-year statute.

On the other was the attorney for the school, Karen Bitar of Greenberg Traurig, who prevailed before Koeltl below and who insisted the victims were put on inquiry notice from the moment of their abuse and should acted to expose the alleged indifference by school officials.

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