Dupée & Monroe Successfully Holds Abuser Liable
Attorneys at Dupée & Monroe recently secured a huge victory for their client in a personal injury matter based on allegations of sexual assault and abuse. The court granted our client’s motion for partial summary judgment on the matter of liability for several of the plaintiff’s causes of action, leaving open only how much damages the client will recover as a result of the defendant’s egregious conduct. Learn about the case below, and contact our skilled Hudson Valley child sexual abuse lawyers if you or a family member need help holding abusers accountable in New York City or the Hudson Valley.
Step-Grandfather Sexually Abused Granddaughter
The case at hand concerns very unsettling allegations. The plaintiff in the matter is a young child. The complaint alleges that the child was sexually molested by the maternal grandmother’s husband over a number of years.
The defendant step-grandfather was arrested and indicted for several criminal charges in connection with the same allegations. He ultimately pled guilty to one count of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree. A person is guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree in New York when they engage in oral or anal sexual conduct with another person who is either incapable of consent by being helpless, who is under 11 years old, who is under 13 years old while the defendant is over 18 years old, or by use of force.
Separate from the criminal charges, the plaintiff’s mother brought this civil case on her child’s behalf. The complaint alleges assault and battery as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims, against the step-grandfather. The mother retained Dupée & Monroe to represent her and her child in the civil case.
Dupée & Monroe Successfully Argued That a Criminal Conviction Proves Civil Liability by Default
Attorneys at Dupée & Monroe argued that the defendant’s guilty plea in the criminal matter effectively proved their client’s claims for assault and battery as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress. The guilty plea necessarily included the elements of the defendant’s sexual conduct as well as the plaintiff’s age. The associated unwanted physical conduct satisfies the harmful conduct requirement to assert assault and battery. Moreover, unwanted sexual conduct is clearly “extreme or outrageous behavior” sufficient to qualify for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Collateral estoppel is a legal concept that prevents a litigant from trying to refute facts in one case that have already been proven in another case; in this instance, the defendant’s sexual touching. The court here agreed that, based on collateral estoppel, the defendant could not contradict the facts to which she admitted in the criminal matter.
For that reason, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff on those two claims on the issue of liability. All that remains for those claims is to determine the amount of damages the plaintiff will recover. The trial will proceed as regards the plaintiff’s other claims, as well as to determine the amount of damages the plaintiff can recover based on winning the first two claims.
Dedicated and Successful New York Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse in New York City, Orange County or anywhere in the Hudson Valley region, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys Dupée & Monroe for immediate assistance at 845294-8900, with offices in Goshen and Manhattan.