Flow of lawsuits involve childhood sexual abuse

Jason Amala, an attorney with Seattle-based law firm Pfau Cochran Vertetas Amala who along with the Marsh Law Firm in White Plains is handling about 60 New York lawsuits against various councils of the Boy Scouts of America, and 175 claims against New York Catholic Church Dioceses.

All total, his firm alone has 550 New York cases for the Child Victims Act against various institutions and people.

“There’s more to come,” he said. “We’re getting 10 to 12 calls a day from new people wanting to tell their story.”

Amala says that when people initially call a law firm to seek information about making a claim, there often is a bit of counseling involved.

“For probably a third of our clients, we are the first people they have ever told,” Amala said. “The vast majority of our clients have never filed a claim since they were kids. … This is a really big step for them.”

People want to move on. Go to college. Start a family.

“The last thing they are thinking is to bring a lawsuit,” he said.

But, the memories of abuse don’t fade, he said.

In cases like those against the Boy Scouts of America, Amala speculates there could be countless victims, a sentiment echoed in court papers.


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