We are often reminded that those entrusted with the responsibility for protecting children and others from sexual assault fail to provide the proper protection or turn a blind eye. That includes people and organizations that oversee those entrusted with our safety, or our children's safety. Perpetrators can include a bus driver, repair person, teacher, counselor, clergyman, neighbor or family member. Organizations that oversee these people can include schools, colleges, landowners, landlords, churches and health care organizations.
It is understandable that some people can unknowingly or unintentionally suppress their own memories in an attempt to avoid the impact of past sexual assaults. Events that occurred many years ago as a child may not surface until a victim's adulthood. Consequently, Illinois has one of the broadest and longest time limits within which one must pursue a lawsuit or forever be barred from doing so. Thus, no matter when you first realize you or a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault, molestation or rape, an investigation should begin immediately to explore the options for justice that may be available in addition to criminal prosecution.
Understanding the Harm and Pursuing Full Compensation
Psychological injuries you cannot see often have a much more severe impact than physical injuries. Any form of Sexual Assault, whether to a child or to an adult, can be the most hurtful injury one can suffer. The intimate nature of a sexual assault can affect each person in a myriad of different ways. Children often have an especially difficult time dealing with the events since much of their understanding of intimacy and their sexuality has not yet been fully developed. The full impact of the assault may not be felt for years. Sexual assault perpetrated by a person in a position of trust can also be particularly hurtful and confusing to the victim. Regardless of the harm suffered, Pfaff, Gill & Ports, Ltd. have helped the victims of sexual assault and rape get justice from those responsible.
Representative Sexual Assault Cases
J.D., et al v. K.H., et al. – $2,550,000 settlement for four children molested by a neighbor's child. Multiple events over a six month period, the victims were 5 and 6 years old and the perpetrator was 11. Claims were against the neighbor's child and mother for negligent supervision because the mother was aware of previous accusations against her child and had been warned by her child's therapist that the 11-year-old was not to be left alone with younger children because of his propensity to commit such acts. During the pendency of the case, we were able to prove that the child perpetrator and his mother were covered by the renters' insurance policy the mother had on the apartment.
Doe v. Tejpal – Confidential settlement in which we represented a child sexually assaulted by an apartment repair man who had a criminal background of sexual assault of a child. The apartment owner failed to do a simple and extremely low-cost criminal background check that would have revealed the man's criminal past, yet gave the man a master key to every apartment.
C.R. v. Jacqueline's Transportation – $500,000 settlement for a disabled minor who was sexually assaulted by a school bus driver. The suit was premised on the bus company's failure to provide supervision of the driver, and on the bus attendant's abandonment of her job on the day of the occurrence.
C.J. v. Alpha School Bus Co., et al. – $250,000 settlement for a 12-year old autistic girl sexually assaulted on school bus by another disabled student. Suit was brought against the bus company and the company that employed the bus monitor.
J.D. v. XYZ, Inc. – Pending matter in which we represent a 14-year-old female student raped by 17-year-old male program assistant during an overnight program function. Male assistant was criminally prosecuted. Claim against the organization that oversaw the program for negligent supervision.
The Need to Monitor Social Environments for Safety
In hindsight, it often appears obvious that people who are allowed to interact with other people's children on a regular basis should have been subject to at least a basic background check. There is always a potential for abuse when people such as apartment complex maintenance and repair personnel, teachers, clergy, and school support staff are allowed unsupervised close contact with children. Criminal checks, employment backgrounds and even common sense oversight can identify potential perpetrators with inappropriate backgrounds including sex offenses or inappropriate behavior before they can inflict any harm on others.
An Ounce of Prevention
We encourage employers, professionals and all organizations who are responsible for the safety of others, especially children, to be proactive and vigilant about proving a safe environment. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure when it comes to personal safety from molestation, rape, or sexual assault.
Contact an Experienced Sexual Assault Lawyer
If you, a loved one, or someone you know have suffered from sexual molestation, assault or rape, call Pfaff, Gill & Ports, Ltd. immediately so we can act quickly to preserve any evidence necessary and investigate the situation. We will explore the possibilities of pursuing compensation from responsible parties whose misconduct contributed to the harm done through the indignity of molestation or other type of sexual assault.
Contact a Chicago sexual assault lawyer at the Pfaff, Gill & Ports, LTD. law firm