Attorney for Sexual Abuse Victims That Were Not Protected at Belwood-Antis School

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Students are supposed to be protected from harm while at school. Teachers and school administrators bear a big responsibility when class is in session. Unfortunately, schools are prime targets for sexual predators.

Former wrestling coach at Bellwood-Antis Middle School, Ryan Blazier, was recently convicted of sexual abuse crimes. Meanwhile, the school that employed him and various other school officials who knew about the abuse remain free. Our legal team can help you sue school officials and the school district. Talk to our team soon, as there is a strict deadline on when you can file your case. Damages in sexual abuse cases are often high, and juries might be convinced to award substantial compensation for the pain and suffering your child endured.

For a confidential assessment of your claims for no charge, call our sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586.

Sexual Abuse and Assault Allegations at Bellwood-Antis School

Parents send their children to school believing the school will keep their kids safe. While accidents occasionally happen, sometimes more sinister things take place, and our children are extremely vulnerable. At Bellwood-Antis Middle School, a wrestling coach, Ryan Blazier, sexually abused students in his care. To make matters worse, other school officials knew that Blazier was under investigation for sexual misconduct with children, yet nobody did much to stop Blazier from having unsupervised access to kids.

Instances of sexual abuse in school are legally complicated. While the person directly responsible for perpetrating the abuse might be criminally charged or even found guilty and sentenced to prison, others linked to the abuse might not. Other teachers and administrators might have known about the abuse but technically did nothing to constitute a crime. Similarly, the school district should be held accountable, but you cannot exactly arrest a school or district.

If your child was the victim of sexual abuse at Bellwood-Antis schools, call our sexual abuse lawyers for help reporting to the police and taking legal action against those responsible. As detailed below, we can help you sue individuals who should have stopped the abuse in addition to the school district.

Suing Bellwood-Antis School for Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse cases are notoriously complex and highly emotionally charged. While you might have an idea of who you believe should be held responsible, you should still discuss the matter with an experienced attorney. Other parties might be implicated.

Who You Can Sue

Sexual abuse at public schools is tricky because the defendants are usually considered part of the government. Suing governmental entities is difficult, as many are protected by some form of sovereign immunity. However, some laws waive this sovereign immunity under very specific circumstances, allowing you to sue the school district and its employees.

The Bellwood-Antis school district and school officials may be sued under 85 Pa.C.S. § 8542(b)(9). This law carves out a specific exemption to sovereign immunity in cases of sexual abuse.

Deadline to File Your Case

When suing the government, plaintiffs must submit a notice of their claim to the appropriate government authorities within 6 months of the injuries. This is an extremely tight deadline. However, there is an exception for sexual abuse claims against public schools. Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5522(c), the 6-month notice requirement does not apply to cases involving sexual abuse.

Without a requirement for a notice of your claim, you must file your case against the school district and school officials within the normal statute of limitation. Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5533(b)(2)(i), a person who was sexually abused as a minor has until age 55 to file a case. This is a very long deadline because sexual abuse victims often do not come forward with their claims right away. In fact, many victims do not come forward for years, even decades.

Proving Your Claims

Proving your claims in a sexual abuse case can be challenging. Gathering the right evidence is often difficult, as evidence might be lost, or witnesses might refuse to get involved. Our legal team can work to find the evidence you need to prove your claims and get justice for your child and your family.

While sexual abuse is not always reported by young victims right away, you might have noticed injuries that require medical attention. If your child was treated for injuries that you believe are related to sexual abuse, medical records may be paramount to prove your claims. If your child was never treated for injuries after the abuse, we should still have them examined by a doctor, as there might still be signs of the abuse.

We can also find witnesses who can testify about what they knew regarding the abuse. Perhaps school officials noticed strange behavior or activities that were later linked to the abuse. Maybe other kids outright knew about the abuse but were too afraid to come forward at the time.

Possible Damages You Can Claim in a Sexual Abuse Case Against Bellwood-Antis School

Damages in many civil claims revolve around economic and non-economic damages. In sexual abuse claims, economic damages tend to be more limited, as the primary focus of plaintiffs is not on monetary cost but on psychological and emotional pain.

If your child was abused and required medical care, you can claim the hospital bills as part of your damages. Many survivors of abuse also need mental health treatment to deal with the trauma of being sexually abused or assaulted. Mental health care is not cheap, and you can claim the cost of therapy and medication.

Your non-economic damages may be the main focus of our efforts. Sexual abuse and assault can be deeply traumatizing, especially for child victims. People often live with the mental scars of the abuse well into their adult years. Many survivors report never fully getting over what happened to them, even decades later. You and your family deserve substantial compensation for the pain, suffering, and trauma you have had to endure.

Contact Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers for Help with Your Claims Now

For a confidential assessment of your claims for no charge, call our sexual abuse attorneys at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586.


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