Two more former paperboys for the Democrat and Chronicle have filed a lawsuit against the paper and its parent company alleging they were sexually abused by their former supervisor.
The new complaint, filed Friday in state Supreme Court, brings the total number of complainants to seven. Last year, Rick Bates became the first to file a suit, followed by four more ex-paperboys earlier this year.
The suit alleges the Democrat & Chronicle either knew, or should have known, that an employee in circulation, Jack Lazeroff, abused young workers in his charge, and did not take proper precautions to protect them. The pair allege they were sexually abused while on paper routes and in other work locations from 1982 to 1985.
All seven of the complainants are represented by the Manhattan-based Marsh Law Firm.
“The more survivors that come forward, the more people are going to come forward that may have witnessed the abuse, and we’re going to realize how widespread this was,” said Brooke Bergen, an associate attorney at Marsh. “That’s true not just of this case, but of all cases being filed under the CVA. We’re just one of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of cases being brought up across the state.”
The CVA originally left a window until Aug. 14 to file a suit, and was later extended by one year. For Bergen, it’s a critical extension which allows time for more victims to come forward.
“There is a likelihood of there being others out there, who probably feel very alone, and there is an opportunity for them to have a voice, and know that there is still time,” Bergen said.