It is important to sue the organization or company the sex abuser affiliated him or herself with because the company could be vicariously liable. An employer or other entity could bear partial fault for the sex abuse case for failing to properly vet or train its employees or for another act of negligence. Holding parties besides the abuser accountable for child sexual abuse could result in more complete justice and better financial compensation for the victim.
Common Organizations Associated With Child Sex Abuse
Childhood sexual abuse can happen anywhere. However, certain organizations have greater access to children and hold positions of trust for families. Companies may find themselves at the center of sex abuse lawsuits for the actions of their employers or affiliates. The following are some of the most common entities associated with child sex abuse cases:
- Schools and educators
- Daycare centers
- Babysitting service providers
- After-school clubs or other extracurricular activities
- Day or overnight camps
- Sports organizations or gyms
- Coaches or trainers
- Churches or religious organizations
- Boy or Girl Scouts of America
- Businesses and large corporations
If you believe your child has suffered sexual abuse or exploitation at the hands of anyone from an organization, you could have a claim against not only the individual perpetrator, but against the entity itself. Illinois law states that all parties responsible for causing bodily injury or death will be jointly and severally liable for the plaintiff’s expenses. Multiple defendants could all owe the plaintiff the full amount of his or her damages. Suing more than one party for sex abuse could therefore result in greater compensation for the victim. More money, however, is not the only reason to sue the affiliated organization.
Holding a Company Accountable for Negligence
A more important reason than money is to hold all at-fault entities accountable for the roles they played in the child’s sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, or neglect. No one should get away with contributing to a sexual abuse case – no matter how big the corporation. It is important to file a claim against all involved parties during a lawsuit. Otherwise, an organization could get away with adding to your child’s sexual abuse through one of the following means:
- Improper hiring procedures. It is an employer’s legal duty to reasonably ensure the safety and performance of its employees. This involves duties such as conducting background checks during thorough hiring procedures. Background checks, personality tests, and character references are especially important at a job involving vulnerable children. Hiring incompetent, incapable, or criminal employees when there was a foreseeable risk of harm is negligence.
- Inadequate employee training. It is also the organization’s duty to properly train its workers. Lack of training for how to supervise or teach children, as well as training in how to detect sexual abuse, could lead to preventable assault cases. If the company promotes a culture of silence among employees, this could perpetuate the problem.
- Lack of appropriate supervision. A company could share liability for childhood sexual abuse if it failed to provide adequate supervision for children. Allowing a child to be alone with a worker who does not have clearance to supervise kids, for example, could result in abuse or neglect.
It is important to file a claim against the individual sex abuser and the organization with which the abuser was affiliated to hold both parties responsible for damages. In an Illinois personal injury claim, an employer will be vicariously liable for the actions and misconduct of its employees. Bringing a claim against an employer is within the victim’s rights.
Shedding Light on Sex Abuse Within the Community
Suing a company or organization as well as the individual sexual abuser could be necessary for true justice. Although the individual abuser committed the actual act, the company affiliated with the abuser may have set the stage for the abuse to occur. Plaintiffs can shed light on sexual abuse at a community center or organization by suing the entity – not just the individual.
If a child in your community suffered sexual abuse at a local YMCA, for example, because the center negligently left a volunteer alone with the child, other parents would want to know about the YMCA’s mistake. The plaintiff could do a great service to the community by pointing out flaws in an organization’s hiring, training, or operating procedures that could lead to sexual abuse. He or she could potentially prevent future child sexual abuse by enacting change at an organizational level.
When to Speak to an Attorney
Bringing a sexual abuse lawsuit against the abuser, his or her affiliated organization, and/or other parties in Illinois can provide a sense of closure and justice. It could also result in financial compensation for the victim’s personal losses. A successful lawsuit could hold the at-fault parties accountable for negligence, recklessness, or intent to harm. It is important to understand your full rights as the plaintiff of a child sex abuse case in Illinois.
Meet with an attorney to discuss the appropriate defendant(s) in your lawsuit. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today at (888) 424-5757.