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Seminario de Seguridad Negligente | Marzo 2015

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Veredicto de 300.000 dólares en la corte federal - asalto sexual a un niño dentro de la tienda K-Mart (Condado de Miami Dade)

Child sexual abuse is something that affects every community.  It is every parent’s worst nightmare. It is something that continues unless reasonable steps are taken to stop it.

John Elliott Leighton represented a young child who was sexually assaulted inside a K-Mart big box store while her mother shopped.  The young child had wandered away from her mother and was approached by a man who said he worked for the store. The man was not an employee at all.  He did,however, take the girl to an employee-only area of the store where he had privacy.  Employees and supervisors there did not ask the man why he was there. Despite having no uniform and not being an employee, he was allowed unfettered access to the back of the store. There he proceeded to sexually assault this young girl.

The sexual predator was never apprehended.

Mr. Leighton tried the case before a federal court jury and obtained a $300,000 verdict despite the jury attributing 90% of the fault to the child’s mother. Evidence showed that the mother allowed her young child to walk off alone in the store for half an hour. At the time, the law allowed a jury to apportion fault to a non-party, which in this case reduced the child’s recovery by 90%.  Sun Bank v. KMart, SD Fla. 1995. The true verdict was $3 million, but it was reduced by the jury’s allocation of 90% fault on the part of the mother.

The law in Florida was later clarified that the fault of a non-party cannot be used against a victim of a crime, but that came several years after the trial.  In the meantime, it is the hope that this verdict and what was uncovered by Mr. Leighton will change corporate policies at K-Mart, perhaps preventing a similar sexual assault on another child.

Leighton Law’s commitment to victims of sexual abuse continues to this day.  As President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, Mr. Leighton advocates for survivors of childhood sexual assault.  More states are opening windows for victims whose claims would be otherwise extinguished by an expired statute of limitations.  We know that most victims of child sex abuse waits years – often decades – before reporting what happened.  The need for a road to justice has never been greater.


Descargo de responsabilidad: La información sobre veredictos y acuerdos pasados de los casos de la firma se basa en los hechos únicos de cada caso. Estas cantidades reflejan la recuperación bruta en cada caso (antes de que se deduzcan los honorarios de los abogados, los gastos y los costos médicos). Aunque estos resultados fueron obtenidos por nuestro bufete, pueden no indicar el éxito o el valor de cualquier otro caso. Al hacer clic en Veredictos y Acuerdos, usted reconoce que cada caso es único y debe ser evaluado por sus propios méritos. La información aquí contenida no ha sido revisada ni aprobada por el Colegio de Abogados de Florida.