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SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

GEORGIA SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

Representing Survivors of Child & Adult Sexual Abuse

If you or someone you love were sexually abused in Georgia, you may have grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit against your abuser and/or the entity that failed to prevent the abuse.

In Georgia, state law gives sexual abuse survivors an opportunity to file lawsuits that can help them obtain the justice and financial compensation they deserve. At Levy Konigsberg, our award-winning trial team has extensive experience litigating sexual abuse lawsuits against individuals and institutions across the country and is available to discuss how we can help you.

Our Georgia sexual abuse attorneys have earned national recognition fighting for survivors in claims against some of the country’s most powerful institutions. To discuss your case and how we can help, call or contact us online. Consultations are FREE and confidential.

We Represent Survivors in All Types of Sex Abuse Claims

Levy Konigsberg has the experience and resources to help survivors in sexual abuse lawsuits involving all types of institutions and circumstances, including:

Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Georgia’s Catholic Dioceses

As in other states, Georgia’s Roman Catholic dioceses (which includes the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah) have come under scrutiny for engaging in a systemic coverup that enabled a decades-long culture of child sexual abuse.

Evidence of this rampant sexual abuse and the Church’s failings have been revealed through years of civil lawsuits filed by survivors, high-profile payouts, and several noteworthy investigations.

This includes a report released by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia in March 2023 that listed 70 priests, deacons, and church members who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah.

While the report detailed widespread abuse and the Church’s efforts to cover it up, investigators have stated that the true number of abusive priests is likely much higher. A total of 53 credibly accused clergy members, most of whom are deceased, were named in the report. Prior to the report, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah named dozens of priests accused of child sexual abuse.

In addition to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council report, several high-profile lawsuits and payouts have helped highlight the scope of sexual abuse within Georgia Catholic Churches. Some examples include:

  • In September 2020, a civil lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Savannah became the third lawsuit to involve claims against convicted child molester Wayland Brown, who served as a priest in the late 1970s through the 1980s, and worked at St. James Catholic School in Savannah. The lawsuit included a transcript from a 1986 meeting of Church leaders who had learned of allegations against Brown and a pending police investigation. Rather than reporting Brown to authorities, the Church sent Brown to a camp in Maryland. He returned to Savannah less than a year later.
  • In July 2016, the Diocese of Savannah reached a $4.5 million settlement with a man who was sexually abused by Wayland Y. Brown in the late 1980s. At the time, the settlement was believed to be the third largest in the country for a single survivor.
  • In October 2009, the Diocese of Savannah reached a $4.24 million settlement with a man who was sexually abused by Wayland Y. Brown from 1978 to 1983 while he was a student at St. James Catholic School. The suit claimed that Church leadership knew Brown was a danger to children but failed to act. Brown was convicted of abusing two boys in Maryland in 2003 and served five years in prison and was later convicted in 2018 of sexual crimes against children, including St. James students. Brown died in 2019 while serving a 20-year sentence.
  • In December 2003, the Archdiocese of Atlanta reached a $10 million settlement with the parents of two teen boys who were sexually abused by Kenneth Joseph Cassity, a pastoral aide at St. Ann Catholic Church in east Cobb County, between July 1999 and December 2000. Cassity pleased guilty to two counts of child molestation in 2003 and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Given the findings illuminated in the report and litigation against the Church, numerous survivors across Georgia are stepping forward to pursue sexual abuse lawsuits against the Dioceses that failed to protect them. You may have a claim if:

  • You were abused by a priest, brother, volunteer, or other member of the Catholic Church.
  • The abuse took place in either of Georgia’s Roman Catholic Dioceses (the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah).

Levy Konigsberg is actively investigating claims from survivors who were sexually abused by priests, clergy, and other church members in Catholic Churches across Georgia. If you have questions about pursuing a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Church, we want to help. Call for a FREE and confidential consultation.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Civil Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in Georgia?

Sexual abuse lawsuits, like other claims brought by plaintiffs who seek damages for injuries, are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. Knowing the statute of limitations in your case is important, because when it expires you will not be able to file a claim or recover compensation.

There are many factors that can affect the statute of limitations for individual plaintiffs, which is why the best way to determine the legal deadline in your case is to have it reviewed personally by a lawyer.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims are generally as follows:

  • Child Sexual Abuse Claims. In Georgia, survivors of child sexual abuse have until the age of 23 to file civil claims against abusers and institutions responsible for their abuse. For abuse that occurred on or after July 1, 2015, claims may be filed within a two-year discovery window, which means two years from the date a survivor discovered the connection between their abuse and resulting damages (i.e. depression, PTSD, and other injuries).
  • Adult Sexual Abuse Claims. Sexual abuse claims brought by survivors who were abused as adults are typically subject to the state’s two-year statutory window for personal injury claims. This means adult survivors must file claims within two years of the date they were last abused or assaulted.

Georgia has lagged other states in passing reforms that expand the statute of limitations for sexual abuse survivors and provide meaningful opportunities to seek justice. As such, if you are a survivor with a potential claim, it is critically important to take timely action and speak with an attorney about your legal options and the statute of limitations applicable to your case.

Can I Still File a Sex Abuse Claim if My Abuser Was Never Charged with a Crime?

Yes. As civil cases, sexual abuse lawsuits are separate matters from criminal cases. They focus solely on holding defendants – including entities and institutions that failed to stop abuse and protect victims – liable for damages, and do not deal with the criminal guilt of an offender.

This means that you may still have a case even if:

  • Your abuser was never criminally investigated or charged with a crime.
  • Your abuser was found Not Guilty in a criminal case.
  • Your abuser is no longer alive.

How Much is My Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Worth?

Because every case is different, the value of your potential claim will depend on the specific facts involved.

Generally, survivors of sexual abuse are entitled to a financial recovery of their damages. Given the complex effects of sexual abuse, and the fact that abuse has a long-term if not lifelong impact on victims, damages can be substantial.

Recoverable damages in sexual abuse cases may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Costs associated with mental health treatment / therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish, fear, embarrassment, and anxiety
  • Long-term mental health issues, including PTSD and depression
  • Lost income and other economic losses

Levy Konigsberg has access to research, experts, and resources that allow us to thoroughly evaluate our clients’ damages and present them effectively in claims and court. In every case we handle, we fight for the maximum compensation possible.

Levy Konigsberg: Proven Advocacy in Sex Abuse Litigation

Levy Konigsberg is a U.S. News “Best Law Firms” ranked trial practice known nationally for litigating complex claims and sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful defendants. Some of our work in this area includes:

  • Millions of dollars in compensation recovered for survivors across the country, including those in states where survivor-centric laws created temporary filing windows.
  • Award-winning recognition from peers and the media, including a recent NY Daily News cover story profiling our ongoing work representing women sexually abused in NY prisons.
  • High-profile sexual abuse filings and litigation against powerful institutions, including the Catholic Church, state and municipal corrections departments, and universities and hospital systems that failed to protect survivors.

You can learn more about our latest sexual abuse work on our blog.

Call For a FREE Consultation:

Levy Konigsberg represents survivors of adult and child sexual abuse throughout Georgia and beyond. If you have questions about a potential claim and how we can help, we encourage you to contact us. Our firm offers FREE and confidential consultations and works on contingency, which means there is no up-front cost to hire our team and no fee unless we win.

To speak with a Georgia sexual abuse lawyer, call or contact us online.

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Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

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