Sexual Abuse Attorney Irwin Zalkin explains why a compromise with the institutions that harbored pedophiles is bad policy
New York, New York (May 5, 2009) -- Recently, the New York Assembly has begun to consider whether it should limit the amount of money that a jury can award to remedy the damage endured by a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. That proposal was supported in a recent article in 5 Towns Jewish Times, entitled "Sexual Abuse Legislation: A Proposed Strategy For Reform," by David Mandel. Under the proposed scheme, regardless of the facts in a case and the financial cost to the survivor of taking on well funded and insured religious corporations at trial, the most that can be recovered is $500,000. The attorney representing the victim would be limited to a 10% fee. "Such a compromise, to please pedophiles and their masters, is bad policy," states Irwin Zalkin, an attorney helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse across the country. "The compromise supported by the 5 Towns Jewish Times and others is nothing more than a sham to discourage and prevent victims from ever seeking civil justice," said Zalkin.
As Zalkin explains, "The institutions protected by the compromise supported by Mandel and 5 Towns Jewish Times are those who have purposely engaged in acts which deceived whole communities regarding the safety of children left in their care."
"The offending institutions have insurance and their own substantial resources to hire the biggest most expensive law firms to put on million dollar defenses. The survivor, of course, has none of these resources," states Zalkin. He further explains that: "For survivors their only hope of equaling the playing field is to hire a lawyer on a contingency basis who gets nothing if there is no recovery. That lawyer has to spend thousands of hours of work and advance the thousands of dollars to hire a team of professionals including, investigators; forensic experts in psychiatry or psychology; and various disciplines of rehabilitation; experts regarding what were the best practices to follow when caring for children; and economists." "The compromise scheme would ensure that, at the most, a long suffering David must once again take the field against a well conditioned and equipped Goliath. At the end of the day the wounded child remains forever maimed," said Zalkin.
With offices in New York and San Diego, The Zalkin Law Firm is one of the premier sexual abuse and personal injury law firms in the country. The firm's lawyers have achieved groundbreaking results in numerous high-profile clergy abuse cases across the United States. Mr. Zalkin has negotiated over $200 million in settlements in Catholic clergy sex abuse cases.
Mr. Zalkin is available to speak to the media about clergy sexual abuse and the Child Victim's Act of New York. To speak to Mr. Zalkin about legal representation, please call The Zalkin Law Firm.