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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers

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Sexual Assault

1 out of every 6 women will be the victim of a rape or attempted sexual assault in her lifetime. Men are not immune from this, as 1 in 33 men will be victimized in their lifetimes. Each year over 425,000 people in the United States over the age of 12 are sexually assaulted. These are shocking numbers.

At Leighton Law, we are dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault restore their lives. We have spent over 35 years representing men and women who have been sexually assaulted.

How do we do this?

First, we help our sexual assault clients navigate through the criminal justice system. That’s a very tough place to be for people who have just had a life-altering assault. They feel intimately violated. They have had control taken away from them. Now there may be a perpetrator who was apprehended. If so, the state brings the case against them. The victim is essentially a witness. The State does not represent their interests. But we work hard to help our clients through this process, often in tandem with prosecutors, law enforcement and victim advocates.

Second, we empower our clients. We want them to their story. Our goal is to afford our clients the power to take back their dignity, help them heal, and empower the survivors by bringing a civil case.

Third, we bring civil cases against those who allow the crime to be committed and against those who committed the crime. By holding them all responsible, we can create safer conditions. Perhaps the next time there is no sexual assault because of the courageous acts of our clients. If we can prevent even a single sexual assault by shining a light on the negligence of others, we will have done a great deed.

Were it not for the civil justice system, many serial rapists and abusers would never have been criminally prosecuted (Bill Cosby, Jeffrey Epstein, Larry Nasser and many others). This is because the civil justice system is for the victim. This is where we get justice.

As President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, John Leighton has been helping survivors of sexual assault reclaim their dignity for over 35 years. As a pioneer in the field of negligent security and sex abuse litigation, Mr. Leighton has taught other trial lawyers for decades on techniques for bringing and trying these cases to juries.

Mr. Leighton is the Chairman of the Inadequate Security Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice (former Association of Trial Lawyers of America). He is the author of Litigating Premises Security Case, a two-volume textbook widely used throughout the country on how to assess, investigate and try sexual assault and violent crime cases.

Why does it make sense to bring a civil case for a sexual assault?

When a rapist or criminal perpetrator is caught by the police, there are dozens of protections that are triggered for them as the accused. The criminal justice system is crafted to make sure that this person receives every benefit of a doubt (and the standard in a criminal case is “beyond any reasonable doubt”). Because of this the State is representing the people against the accused.

In a civil case, when we represent a survivor of a sexual assault, we represent that person. We can bring a case and get subpoena power. That means we can take sworn testimony, conduct investigations, and develop evidence that the State or law enforcement might miss or may not be important to their criminal case. Most important, our goal to is restore our client’s life. That may mean recovering substantial monetary damages, changing the policies of a business, increasing security at a building, having better lighting or locks installed at an apartment complex, creating policies to stop drink spiking at bars, or requiring background checks of employees.

We have represented many survivors of sexual assault. Each one is different. Each case is different. What matters is that we give every single one or personal attention so we can understand the needs of our clients.

Leighton Law has a track record of record-setting recoveries

By understanding the needs of our clients, we can better craft and litigate their case. No two clients are alike except that they have had their dignity stolen from them. We work with some of the top forensic experts and counselors in the country to help our clients restore what they once had: control over their lives.

In so doing, we have been extraordinarily successful in winning verdicts and settlements on their behalf. Recently John Leighton and Max Panoff obtained a $49.3 million verdict for a young woman who was sexually assaulted by a teacher (CRR v. Jansen, et al., Miami-Dade County Circuit Court), which followed a $550,000 settlement with one of the defendants. This recovery allowed our client to go on to college and become a successful and independent professional.

We have recovered substantial amounts for clients who have been sexually assaulted in case involving:

  • Sexual assault on a young man by a store manager
  • Sexual assault of a store clerk by an intruder at a boutique
  • Rapes of several young women working at factory outlet malls by a serial rapist
  • Sexual assault at a trailer park
  • $1.13 million recovery for victim of sexual assault at shopping center
  • Sexual assault after drink spiking at bar of hotel
  • $1.04 million recovery for woman who was tied up and sexually assaulted at a hotel
  • Sexual assault by massage therapist while performing massage on resort guest
  • Hotel guest raped by another guest of hotel who pushed open defective lock
  • $400,000 recovery for woman for attempted assault in office building
  • Rape of rental apartment resident by serial rapist

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, please CLICK HERE or call us for a free, confidential evaluation of the case. We are happy to meet with any prospective clients and there is no obligation or cost involved. We feel that only by helping empower survivors of sexual assault can we begin to help them heal and help stop the frequency of this violence.

Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case as each case is unique. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that every case is different and each case must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.

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