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Sexual Abuse

Although many lawyers decline the challenges of such cases, we have a long history of advocating for the victims of assault, sexual assault, and abuse. This includes claims involving physical assault, stabbings, shootings, and murder, as well as date rape and other sexual assault and abuse.

For civil claims, each of the above wrongs are called “intentional torts.” Depending on the circumstances, claims can be prosecuted against the person committing the tort, persons close to and responsible for that person, such as family, or a business that has a legal duty to take precautions to protect customers from violence on or around the premises.

These claims require a deep understanding of Washington law and its unique application to intentional torts. For example, in a negligence claim, a jury may apportion fault to any number of defendants or non-parties. In a case against a business for an assault by another customer, “fault” may not be apportioned to the criminal assailant, though defendants always try. The reasons for this rule are complex and often times counterintuitive, even to the legal community. We have the experience necessary to tackle these issues from the very beginning and protect clients from erroneous legal excuses.

Intentional tort claims also involve far more forensic evidence than an average car accident claim, not just to prove the claim but to disprove defense theories. For example, a shooter claiming he acted in self-defense when the plaintiff argued and then charged at him will have a hard time disputing forensic evidence indicating a bullet trajectory upward to the top of a stairwell. We have substantial experience with the in-depth investigation and forensic testing necessary to prove such claims and disprove such self-serving defenses.

Over the past several decades, we have recovered many millions of dollars for this area of law.

Doe v. Aulerich

(2008) American Cabulance, Inc. (Cabulance) provides nonemergency medical transportation services for individuals with disabilities. After driving a disabled woman to a medical appointment and back to her home, the Cabulance driver sexually assaulted her. The trial court dismissed her claims against Cabulance for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision. The Court of Appeals found that there… Read More

Doe v. Nursing Home

(April 2004).  A $1,500,000 settlement for the rape of a developmentally disabled nursing home patient by a nurse’s assistant (negligent hiring and supervision).

Ruddell v. USA

(August 2010) $1,000,000 settlement for the rape of a 30 year old divorced mother of three.  Rape was committed by a 17 year old delinquent who was a ward of a Tribe that failed to properly supervise and monitor his actions.

Schultz and Underdahl v. State of Washington

(January 2001) $8,800,000 settlement for negligent supervision of a parolee by the Department of Corrections resulting in rape and murder of one victim and assault of another.

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