Cision PR Newswire

Approximately 1,800 Survivors of Sexual Assault File Lawsuits Against New York For Being Sexually Assaulted by Correctional Staff While Incarcerated

New York's Adult Survivors Act is Set to Expire on Nov. 24, 2023

To Date, Slater Slater Schulman LLP Has Filed 1,218 Cases Against New York State, 479 Cases Against New York City, 74 Cases Against NYS Counties

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2023  /PRNewswire/ -- The State of New York, the City of New York, and 20 counties are among the defendants that have been named in a series of individual civil actions alleging that as many as 1,771 individuals were sexually assaulted while incarcerated in facilities run by the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), the New York City Department of Correction (DOC), and county-run Departments of Correction throughout New York State. The lawsuits were filed under the Adult Survivors Act ("ASA") by attorneys at Slater Slater Schulman LLP, a leading, full-service law firm with decades of experience representing survivors of traumatic and catastrophic events.

Slater Slater Schulman LLP represents the largest number of survivors of prison abuse committed in New York State. In addition to the 1,218 cases filed against the State for alleged abuse in State prisons, 479 cases have been filed against the City of New York for alleged abuse at Rikers, 74 cases have been filed against various New York counties for alleged abuse in county-run jails, and 2 cases have been filed relating to alleged abuse that occurred while the victim was in NYPD custody. The firm has additionally filed 14 cases against private institutions, and will be filing 46 cases on behalf of clients who were allegedly abused by urologist Darius Paduch.

The Adult Survivors Act took effect on Nov. 24, 2022, and is set to expire on Nov. 24, 2023, ending a one-year period during which plaintiffs can file civil suits for sexual offenses, regardless of how long ago the alleged assault took place.

"These brave survivors of sexual assault were in prison serving sentences decided by our justice system, but what they were given instead were life sentences of trauma," said Adam Slater, Founding and Managing Partner of Slater Slater Schulman LLP. "Our clients endured absolute horrors while incarcerated in New York State – each story is worse than the next. But what we have learned over the past few years is that sexual abuse in prisons isn't isolated to New York – it's a nationwide epidemic stretching from coast to coast. The problem is that most states lack powerful legislation like the Adult Survivors Act, which is a tool to bring about justice and enact vital reforms."

"We anticipated needing to bring a high number of claims because the abuse goes back decades," said Jonathan Schulman, Founding Partner of Slater Slater Schulman LLP. "At least one of our cases dates back to the early 1980s. The number of cases we have filed over the past year – more than 1,800 – reveals the magnitude and systemic nature of the abuse perpetrated at institutions that are intended to ensure safety and prioritize rehabilitation."

The enactment of the ASA in 2022 represented a critical turning point in this unique survivor population's quest for justice. Numerous factors hinder individuals from filing lawsuits for sex crimes within the existing statutes of limitation, but incarcerated persons face particular barriers in pursuing administrative or criminal action, including potential retaliation by correctional staff. As such, most of these survivors cannot seek recourse until they are released, which is often after the expiration of the statute of limitations. The ASA's extended window for filing lawsuits constituted a significant milestone in addressing the profound abuse endured by these survivors.

As detailed in the 1,771 filed complaints relating to prison abuse, New York State was aware of – and failed to take action to prevent – rampant sexual abuse perpetrated against women detainees by the correctional staff it employed. In 1985, The Correctional Association of New York released a report titled A Neglected Population: Women Prisoners at Bayview, discussing the experience of incarcerated women at the facility. In 1996, Human Rights Watch reported more broadly on sexual abuse of women in U.S. state prisons, including detailed recommendations and issues to consider for federal and state governments. The U.S. Department of Justice released a July 2005 study on sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by detainees. In addition to these reports, there have been countless lawsuits filed against the State alleging sexual abuse of incarcerated women by male corrections officers during the past four decades, yet the State has repeatedly failed to address the matter with tangible preventative action.

Survivors of sexual abuse need to understand that the sexual abuse was not their fault. Many survivors are forced to live with a lifetime of shame, embarrassment, and severe emotional distress and mental pain and suffering. Help is available.

NOTE: Individuals seeking to be linked to resources for sexual assault survivors can call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. The National Sexual Assault Hotline operated by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) provides confidential support from trained staff members and can assist with finding local healthcare resources, help talk through what happened, and offer referrals for long-term support.

About Slater Slater Schulman LLP

 Slater Slater Schulman LLP is a leading, full-service law firm with decades of experience representing survivors of traumatic and catastrophic events. Our dedicated attorneys are committed to ensuring the best results for our clients through persistence and compassionate representation. With 10 offices in 9 states, Slater Slater Schulman has achieved successful resolutions in some of the most challenging cases in the nation. We have considerable experience with complex, historical sexual abuse cases involving massive institutions, including academic, religious, and youth organizations. Our firm also represents clients in litigation involving pharmaceutical drugs, product liability, environmental law, employment and labor law, medical malpractice, and personal injury, and has proudly represented thousands of World Trade Center survivors. Learn more at sssfirm.com.

Media Contact:
Joan Vollero & Michael Milazzo / ICR
SSSfirm@icrinc.com

 

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/approximately-1-800-survivors-of-sexual-assault-file-lawsuits-against-new-york-for-being-sexually-assaulted-by-correctional-staff-while-incarcerated-301995216.html

SOURCE Slater Slater Schulman LLP

NOTE: This content is not written by or endorsed by "WREG", its advertisers, or Nexstar Media Inc.

For inquiries or corrections to Press Releases, please reach out to Cision.