School districts shoring up against potential Child Victims Act lawsuits

Western New York

The Child Victims Act takes effect Wednesday.

It’s includes a one year window of opportunity for complaints to be filed, that had been previously blocked by the state because of the statute of limitations.

Up until now, many accusations, of child sex abuse, have been against private organizations, like the catholic church, but many law firms are looking to target other organizations like schools.

The Niagara Falls City School District says they’ve always been proactive against claims of abuse, but have been preparing for possible legal action.

“There’s a great unknown, in this equation,” said Mark Laurrie, superintendent. “First of all, we don’t know any or all of the cases that could, if any come forward, and there may not be any, which would be the best case scenario, but we have to work very closely with our insurance company, our previous insurance companies, in order to protect the interest of the district.”

Of the cases being filed, through one local law firm, there are claims against several organizations- from the catholic church to schools.

“Truth be told, this is the youngest and most vulnerable that our community has and for far too long people have been able to prey on our most vulnerable members of society,” said Samantha Breakstone of Weitz & Luxenberg.

Breakstone says, her firm is filing more 129 cases in Western New York — two will be filed Wednesday in Erie County.

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