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SamandMax's avatar

How did they manage to sue a school years later?

Asked by SamandMax (1698 points ) February 23rd, 2013

I would point to actual articles but I seem to not be finding many although I do know they were published in newspapers and the like.

I’m referring to people who attended private schools or schools of any other kind, only to end up suing them over certain things many, many years later. How the heck did they manage to be able to do that? Doesn’t that require a lot of evidence and how would it be possible to acquire the kind of evidence to sue a school for, e.g. neglect of the person as a child when he or she attended it (as it’s a school’s duty to ensure the wellbeing of the child when at the school).

I’m completely stumped as to how on earth they would ever have managed to pull that off, in one particular case it was some twelve years later and the ‘victim’ was in her 20s!

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6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Here is one of many articles on the sexual abuse scandal at Horace Mann, a prestigious private day school in NYC. It surfaced 30 years after the fact.

You have to examine each event case by case.

filmfann's avatar

When an abuser is in a role of power and control, they can stifle an accusation for many years. It often takes the victim a long time away from the abuser to recognize that they can come forward without recriminations.
Ease up a bit on that. These people are often real victims, not “victims”.

CWOTUS's avatar

In some cases statutes of limitations laws have been modified to include ”x number of years after discovery of the crime”. That is, most previous / traditional statutes of limitations have set legal time limits “after commission of the crime,” after which criminal charges cannot be brought. But with the change, now people who have only recently “discovered” (through whatever means, and some of them can be problematic) that a crime was committed can now bring charges in criminal court.

Statutes of limitations do not apply, I think, in civil cases. Some of the suits you may be seeing are the civil cases brought against perpetrators for money damages only – no criminal charges apply.

SamandMax's avatar

@filmfann make no mistake that I was referring to the woman as being a “victim” in a derogatory fashion – it was just another word I used for the one I couldn’t for the life of me think of at the time.

filmfann's avatar

@SamandMax I am glad to hear that. Please excuse my misunderstanding your use of quotes.

SamandMax's avatar

Thanks @CWOTUS, I’m pretty sure I should have edited the question to accommodate that aspect of it – which was the thing I was aiming to find answers for.

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