For the past 20 years, Tremont Sheldon P.C. has been devoted to representing the interests of individuals who were sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and sexually exploited when they were children. Over the years, we have successfully represented hundreds of childhood survivors in cases against religious institutions, hospitals, school systems, and individual perpetrators. We remain committed to this area of the law and we continue to actively represent survivors of these heinous acts. Here are a few recent updates: Dr. George Reardon/St. Francis Hospital In July of 2011, the jury in the Tim Doe v. St. Francis Hospital matter returned a verdict in the amount of $2.75 million. As expected, the Hospital appealed. What was unexpected was that the Supreme Court transferred the appeal to itself and entered orders to allow for an expedited argument. The briefing has been completed and the Court will hear argument on April 26, 2012. Teacher Abuse In March of 2012, a Superior Court judge in the Jane Doe v. Westport Board of Education matter ruled that a local Board of Education cannot use the shield of government immunity to protect it against a lawsuit by our client, a young woman, who claims she was sexually assaulted by her high school teacher.
Even though the claimed sexual assault happened off school premises and after school hours, the Court ruled that there was enough evidence presented by the plaintiff in opposing the Board of Education’s Motion for Summary Judgment for a jury to determine whether the school board violated a ministerial duty. The Court stated that “issues of fact exist as to whether an ordinary person, knowing what the defendants knew or should have known, would reasonably foresee that harm of the same general nature, as that which was suffered by the plaintiff, would occur on private property and not during school hours”.See Memorandum of Decision RE: Motion for Summary Judgment.Priest AbuseOur firm continues to handle and successfully resolve cases regarding sexual abuse of minors involving priests of the Dioceses and other religious orders in Connecticut. Currently, we are actively pursuing numerous cases against the Diocese of Bridgeport and Archdiocese of Hartford.Over the past two decades, we have reached settlements in excess of $50,000,000 on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse and we continue to engage vigorously in our representation of individuals so harmed. Recently, we became aware of Cardinal Egan’s interview as given to Connecticut Magazine regarding childhood clergy abuse and we were shocked to read that he “took back” his past apology to the victims. Specifically, we represented over 90 victims who were sexually abused by priests within the Diocese of Bridgeport beginning in the 1960s through the 1990s when Cardinal Egan was Bishop of Bridgeport.See Tremont Sheldon P.C.‘s response to Cardinal Egan’s remarks.