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Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund Continues to Accept Claims

Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2021 at 10:33 pm    

For the past six months, a fund has been in operation to compensate survivors of abuse perpetrated by Jeffrey Epstein. The Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program, which was established by executors of the Epstein estate, opened officially on June 25, 2020. The program will continue to accept claims from Epstein’s victims through March 2021.

According to the New York Times, the compensation fund has already doled out over $30 million to survivors this year. The program has received significantly more claims than were expected – over 100 claims in total. This comes with the expectation that claims will continue to roll in over the coming three months.

When Epstein died by suicide in jail after he was arrested in 2019, his fortune was valued at approximately $600 million. Now, it is estimated to sit at about $400 million.

This enormous sum of money should be divided among the many women and children who survived Epstein’s extensive abuse, trafficking, and exploitation. Thankfully, the Epstein estate and related parties have shown recognition of this fact by creating the official compensation fund.

The fund offers a crucial, potentially expedited chance at justice for many people. That being said, submitting a claim to the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program may not be the best possible route to recovery for all who experienced Epstein’s abuse. Some survivors may prefer to pursue a lawsuit and have their stories heard in court.

Both the compensation fund and the recent New York Child Victims Act can provide a path toward healing for those abused by Epstein. Each of these options has unique merits that individual survivors may take into consideration.

Filing a Claim With the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program

By filing a claim with the Epstein compensation fund, survivors of Epstein’s abuse can seek compensation quietly and without the publicity that may accompany a lawsuit. This process may also prove quicker than a lawsuit.

Rather than going to court (or reaching a settlement out of court), claimants to the fund need only interact with the program’s administrator. The administrator, Jordana Feldman, processes, evaluates, and reaches a decision about all claims submitted to the program.

In her role as administrator, Feldman acts independently of the Epstein estate. The estate does not have the power to evaluate claims and has agreed to distribute compensation in accordance with the administrator’s determinations.

Furthermore, the Epstein Victims’ Compensation program promises strict confidentiality for all claimants. This includes confidentiality from members of the Epstein estate.

Feldman has told the New York Times that it takes about 60 days to review each claim. Within this period, claimants participate in an interview over video-chat to share their experience with her.

“[The interview] gives the victims an opportunity to tell their story, and it gives me an opportunity to get to know them in a way that can’t be fully captured in a paper file,” Feldman said to the Times.

According to Feldman, claimants may receive offers of compensation ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. Upon receiving an offer from the program, the survivor who filed the claim may then choose to accept or deny the compensation. If the offered amount seems fair and satisfactory, the survivor may decide to accept it – although this is a decision that should be made with careful consideration.

It is important to note that claimants who accept compensation from the fund in turn waive their rights to file individual lawsuits in the future. In order to receive payment, each claimant must sign a release that agrees not to litigate against the Epstein estate or “related entities and individuals.”

Pursuing a Lawsuit Under the New York Child Victims Act

Whereas the anonymity and expediency of the victims’ compensation fund may appeal to some survivors of Epstein’s abuse, others may feel that the New York legal system better serves their needs.

Those who suffered exploitation, trafficking, or abuse from Epstein as minors can now seek justice through the New York Child Victims Act (CVA).

The CVA, which took effect in August of 2019, lengthened the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse. Now, survivors have until the age of 55 to take civil action against their abusers and related parties. (The previous age limit for child sex abuse survivors to file a lawsuit was 23.)

Critically for those abused by Epstein, the CVA also opened up a limited “look-back” window for all survivors of child sexual abuse to pursue lawsuits. The look-back window is set to last until August 14, 2021, exactly two years after it opened.

During this look-back period, anyone may file a child sex abuse suit, even if their case had expired under the previous statute of limitations. This means that survivors of Epstein’s abuse who were unable to pursue a lawsuit by the age of 23 can now do so.

Many women and children experienced intimidation, trauma, or a mix of factors that prevented them from taking civil action against Epstein and his affiliates earlier in life. For these people, the New York CVA provides a new chance at justice.

Hach & Rose, LLP Stands With Survivors of Epstein’s Abuse

Jeffrey Epstein’s horrific crimes have been well-documented. Even in the wake of Epstein’s death in 2019, there is no question that each one of his victims deserves justice from the Epstein estate and Epstein’s affiliates.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we understand that no amount of financial compensation can undo Epstein’s terrible actions. Compensation can, however, help you take necessary steps toward recovery and healing. The money you may receive, whether through a lawsuit or the victims’ compensation fund, can cover medical bills, mental health services, and more so that you can turn a new page in your life.

Our experienced child sex abuse lawyers can listen to your story and help you decide whether the compensation fund or a lawsuit makes the most sense in your situation. Whichever route you choose, we will bring the utmost compassion and skill to your case to help you secure fair compensation for what you’ve endured. We also have the extensive experience in this field that high-profile abuse cases demand.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call 646-685-8045 or fill out our contact form.


Child Victims Act: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 at 3:41 pm    

Despite becoming effective in August 2019, many people still haven’t heard about the Child Victims Act that New York Governor George Cuomo passed over a year ago. It’s a groundbreaking new law that extends the deadline for childhood sexual abuse victims to bring criminal charges against their abusers.

The three main elements of the Child Victims Act are:

  • Allows a one-year “lookback” window to pursue civil action regardless of when the abuse occurred
  • Extends the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes until the victim turns 28 years of age
  • Allows those sexually abused as children to seek civil action against the abuser and institutions involved until the victim turns 55 years old

The deadline for the “lookback” window is going to expire in August 2020, and with the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers are seeking an extension. Members of Congress and CVA activists discussed the lack of campaigns notifying people of the new law. That, along with the coronavirus stalling court proceedings across the country, an extension to the deadline is essential.

Governor Cuomo Open to Discussing an Extension

State lawmakers issued a statement earlier in March regarding the passage of the proposed CVA deadline extension. Cuomo had argued that the one-year window was plenty of time for victims to pursue legal action and file lawsuits. However, with COVID-19 shutting down businesses and interfering with court cases, lawmakers reopened the discussions.

Several New York Assemblywomen and a state Senator spoke from their own experiences with childhood sexual abuse. They said it’s difficult for most people to open up about their abuse, and sometimes it could take years before victims are willing to come forward with their allegations.

Even though the one-year window began in August 2019, there are still a lot of people who aren’t aware of the new law. The state of New York failed to issue campaigns notifying the public of their new rights under the Child Victims Act. Many don’t realize they’re allowed to file a lawsuit even though the original statute already passed. Others are having trouble seeking legal representation or can’t afford to hire a lawyer right now.

Now that COVID-19 is affecting ongoing lawsuits and preventing new ones from getting filed, lawmakers believe now more than ever that an extension is crucial. They want to give victims more time to seek the justice they rightfully deserve. Adding another year to the CVA could accomplish that.

Recent Lawsuits Filed Under the Child Victims Act

Four people accused a former teacher at Maine-Endwell School District of sexual abuse when they attended the school in 1970. In the lawsuits, the victims claimed that they reported the abuse to the principal, but there was no investigation performed or police complaints filed. The lawsuits cite negligence on the part of the school district for failing to investigate and report the alleged sexual abuse properly.

Another school district faces lawsuits from multiple survivors of sexual abuse. One of them alleged that between 1990 and 1991, an employee of the school repeatedly abused them sexually. The school provides education and housing for students with learning disabilities. All the survivors stated in their lawsuits that the school failed to prevent the abuse from occurring and gave their negligent employees access to minors.

Another individual filed a lawsuit that a camper and resident at Forest Lake Camp repeatedly sexually abused them over 45 years ago. During the ongoing abuse, the camp’s employees were given access to minor children. The survivor reported that no one did anything to stop the abuse from occurring, and the camp negligently hired abusive counselors.

A woman came forward accusing David Rockefeller’s chauffeur of molesting her when she was only seven years old. Her lawsuit states that Luis Oliveira sexually assaulted her in the living quarters she shared with her mother on the Rockefeller property. She said the family ignored warnings from other workers about the employee’s inappropriate behavior and failed to protect her.

In 1980, well-known author Marc Gafni allegedly molested a 13-year-old girl. The woman stated when she was 13, Gafni would sneak into her room and grope her over a period of nine months. Another woman filed a lawsuit against the author, claiming that he touched her against her will when she was 16 years of age.

Catholic Dioceses Face Allegations of Sexual Abuse

A majority of initial lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act were against multiple Catholic dioceses throughout New York. Since the new law passed, there were hundreds of cases stating priests and other members of the church sexually abused children, and the number of cases continues to grow.

Initially, the Independent Reconciliation Compensation Program paid 79 victims a total of $11 million. There were lawsuits filed against 28 diocese employees, most of them being priests. A group of home workers and a janitor also faced legal action for their role in the sexual abuse of minors.

Due to the increasing number of allegations and compensation sought by all the victims, the diocese in both Buffalo and Rochester ended up filing for bankruptcy. They chose to go down the path of bankruptcy to protect them and redirect future cases to the bankruptcy court.

Stand Up to Your Abuser with Help from Hach & Rose, LLP

You deserve to pursue justice for the despicable actions of your abuser. No child should ever have to go through such a traumatic experience as sexual abuse. It causes devastating effects and can impact someone for the rest of their life.

Hach & Rose, LLP knows how difficult it is to discuss your experiences. We provide a safe and comfortable environment for our clients. We will treat you with compassion and understanding while reviewing the details of your case. It’s our mission to recover the maximum compensation owed to you for the horrible events you experienced as a child.

If you want to speak with one of our experienced lawyers, contact us today at 646-685-8045 to schedule a free consultation. There’s no risk to meet with us and receive valuable legal advice. We’ll advise you on your options and help guide you towards the decision that works best for you.


Child Victims Act and Statutes of Limitations

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 at 3:31 pm    

For most survivors of sexual abuse, it’s emotionally and psychologically devastating to speak up about what happened. Many don’t come forward at all out of fear or shame. Some worry no one will believe them, or their attacker will retaliate in some way. Even if a victim of sexual abuse does decide to face their abuser, it could be too late to pursue legal action because of the statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations sets a deadline for individuals to seek compensation for an injury they suffered. A lot of sexual abuse victims are well past their state’s statute of limitations for childhood sex crimes. Even though they want to hold their abuser responsible for what they did years or decades ago, they can’t. They have to live with what happened to them and know they’re unable to seek justice.

New York Child Victims Act

ALERT: THE DEADLINE TO FILE CHARGES IS AUGUST 14, 2021. CONTACT OUR OFFICES NOW FOR A FREE REVIEWAL OF YOUR CASE!

In 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed the Child Victims Act. It allows those who suffered sexual abuse as a child to come forward and file a lawsuit against their abuser. Under the new law, they have a one-year window to pursue legal action despite the statute of limitations.

In addition to the window, sexual abuse survivors can now file civil lawsuits until they turn 55 years old. It’s also possible to file criminal charges against alleged abusers until the victim turns 28 years of age.

Since this new law passed, thousands of individuals sexually abused as children filed lawsuits to have their day in court and face their attacker. There have been a surprising number of lawsuits filed against the Catholic dioceses throughout the state of New York. Some notable organizations also came under scrutiny, such as the Boy Scouts of America.

Who is Liable Under the Child Victims Act?

The law allows victims to pursue civil action against any party who participated in or knew about the sexual abuse. Even if someone didn’t perform abusive acts, if they knew it was happening and actively tried to cover it up, they could be held legally responsible.

Many lawsuits named priests, scout leaders, sports coaches, teachers, doctors, camp counselors, and professors. The entities that employed those individuals could face legal trouble for failing to stop the abuse from occurring or trying to hide it.

How the Child Victims Act Could Affect You

Children of sexual abuse usually lack the courage to speak out about what happened to them. They can’t remove themselves from their horrific situation or care for themselves. Many survivors feel a great deal of shame and aren’t ready to talk about it until a lot of time has passed. By then, the statute of limitations is up, and they can’t file a lawsuit.

This new law gives you time to retain a lawyer and prepare yourself for the battle ahead. You finally get to seek justice and hold the people responsible for what they did to you when you were a defenseless child. If you’re unsure of how to sue your abuser, you should seek legal representation.

An experienced lawyer will obtain all the sufficient evidence available and fight aggressively throughout your case. Even though no amount of money can take away what happened to you, it can punish the parties that caused you harm.

You Can Prepare Your Case Despite Court Closures

Even though the court system has come to a screeching halt, many lawyers are working with their clients to prepare a lawsuit in preparation for when courts resume operations. It’s never too early to hire a lawyer and discuss your options.

Even if you can’t file your lawsuit right away, you can prepare documentation and evidence for when the courts reopen. If it takes several months and you didn’t prepare, you lose all that valuable time and have to start from scratch. The deadline isn’t far away, and if Governor Cuomo doesn’t grant an extension, you’ll likely run out of time.

New York Dioceses File for Bankruptcy

After receiving hundreds of lawsuits citing childhood sexual abuse and assault, the Buffalo diocese had to file for bankruptcy. The volume of claims among the eight New York dioceses caused concern that bankruptcy was inevitable.

The first diocese to file for bankruptcy was in Rochester. They filed for Chapter 11 protection one month after the Child Victims Law became effective. They stated that it was the best way to protect their assets and pay settlements to the victims of sex abuse.

Let Hach & Rose, LLP Help You with Your Sexual Abuse Case

Were you the victim of childhood sexual abuse? Did you suffer severe physical or emotional damage because of it? If so, Hach & Rose, LLP can represent you and seek the justice you deserve.

Even if the events of your abuse took place decades ago, we’ll cite the Child Victims Act to pursue compensation from your abuser. We understand the pain you experienced and how tough it is to come forward. You won’t have to go through this alone. We have experience handling cases just like yours and will treat you with compassion and sensitivity.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we believe it’s important to stand up to the person who caused you harm. You suffered long enough, and we’ll work hard to help you put this traumatic experience behind you.

Our lawyers have combined experience of over 100 years. We use all the resources at our disposal to ensure we win the maximum financial award available. To schedule your free consultation, call 646-685-8045, and we’ll discuss how to get you on the road to recovery.

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