Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filings Accuse More Than Clergy, Boy Scouts and Doctors

By Frank Esposito
Rockland/Westchester Journal News
August 16, 2019

Shorty after midnight Wednesday, lawyers flooded the New York state civil court system with hundreds of new lawsuits accusing a variety of institutions and individuals of an array of sexual abuse incidents dating back decades.

One law firm even live-streamed the filings on Facebook.

By the time courts closed for the day, attorneys had filed 427 sex abuse cases against institutions that many had speculated would be named. Chief among them were several Roman Catholic dioceses, the Boy Scouts of America and Rockefeller University Hospital in New York City.

Filings were drastically down on Thursday with only five cases filed in four counties.

Wednesday was the first day to file suits under the Child Victims Act, which allowed anyone to file a lawsuit against organizations in New York despite the statute of limitations.

After the initial wave, lawyers followed up with new clients. James Marsh of New York-based Marsh Law said potential clients began logging onto his website seeking to speak with a lawyer about their cases.

As a matter of practice, law firms have been advertising on television, radio and heavily on websites for some time. The advertisements invite potential clients who believe they were abused as far back as they can remember to discuss filing a suit under the newly enacted Child Victims Act that New York adopted earlier this year.

The firms stand to earn a percentage of any settlements or awards by the court.

"I've got 50 people on my website at a time trying to talk to a lawyer," Marsh said.

Marsh's firm was one of the first to file at midnight on Aug. 14.

Tales of abusive priests, a doctor who may have abused thousands of patients at his high-profile practice and scout leaders accompanied thousands of pages of filings.








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