Breakthrough New York Decision: Court Rules Identity of Survivors Who Brought Suit Under Child Victims Act to be Protected and Remain Private
Decision Has Far-Reaching Impact for Both Child Protection and the Privacy of Survivors, Says Lead Attorney Jeff Anderson
(New York, NY) – Today, Judge George Silver issued a far-reaching decision that allows survivors to proceed anonymously against the Jesuits and other private institutions in order to protect the privacy of the survivors, who are innocent victims.
In three cases filed in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, the defendant Jesuits argued the “identity of the plaintiffs’ victims should be made public.” Judge George J. Silver rejected the argument.
Breakthrough New York Court Decision
The judge, by granting our request to proceed anonymously is a decision of first impression under the Child Victims Act and has huge implications. The Court, noting the public policy of the Child Victims Act, states “Aesop, the Greek fabulist and storyteller, is credited with having said the oft-repeated aphorism that ‘the injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.’”
We are working with hundreds of survivors across the state who can breathe easier today knowing the courts will protect them against the sword of forced exposure the Jesuits tried to wield. “I am breathing easier today knowing the courageous survivors will not be inflicted with further pain by coming forward in New York,” said Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates, attorney for the survivors.
“This is a huge decision,” said Anderson, the lead attorney in hundreds of cases both in New York City and across the state on behalf of survivors. “In my 37 years of working with survivors, this is maybe one of the most important decisions in advancing the protection and the privacy of survivors at the same time giving them the opportunity to expose offenders and perils in the community,” he said.
The Jesuits and other defendants like them that have been fighting the anonymity decision today need to know and hear that there is no reason to force the victims’ identities to be public.
The Jesuits and other defendants like them that have sought to expose the innocent victims had done so only to deter them from coming forward. This was wrong and misguided.
The New York Child Victims Act gives survivors the chance to know that they can come forward, bring suit and expose perils and predators in the community, and also those institutions that chose to protect them. The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates of New York City is representing survivors across the state and on the first day of the Child Victims Act brought hundreds of cases against the Catholic Dioceses across the state.
This is a big day for child protection and affirmation of the courage of the survivors who have found a legal way to know expose the offenders and recover their power and know that they can do something to protect other children in the future. This is a landmark decision when it comes to child protection, Anderson said.