Published 19 Oct 2016
This matter involved a Queensland man, who as a child, was sexually abused by individuals associated with a respected Australian children’s institution. The incidents had occurred in a period between the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
These incidents of sexual assault had stayed with our client for life, and despite reporting them as a child, no action was taken as this institution failed to forward the reports of sexual abuse onto the police.
Our client was removed from the organisation and grew up with a significant psychological burden that impacted him on a day to day basis causing psychiatric injuries, difficulties with employment, difficulties in establishing relationships and trusting people.
After years of psychological torment this man approached Gerard Malouf and Partners to enquire as to his rights. His enquiry was referred to Mrs Christine Beshay, an accredited specialist with a wealth of experience in sexual abuse cases. In taking carriage of this matter Mrs Beshay urgently sought to obtain all relevant evidence in this matter, a task not made easy by the time elapsed since the incident.
Mrs Beshay then obtained the opinion of an expert in child abuse and an expert psychiatrist as well as briefing an experienced Barrister to assist in this matter. Ultimately, this matter was complicated by the fact that the relevant organisation did not possess appropriate insurance to cover injuries that had occurred to our client during this period. Furthermore, there was a real issue as to whether our client could make his claim or whether it was statute barred. Through the assistance of specialist counsel, we were able to use Section 6 of the Limitation act to delete this issue from the Defendant’s defence, thus allowing our client to have his claim heard.
Nonetheless, by progressively pursuing this matter, deftly engaging in negotiations with the representatives of the Defendant and obtaining crucial expert and lay evidence, Ms Christine Beshay was able to obtain a settlement of $245,000.00 for our client. Our client is very satisfied with this result and whilst we acknowledge that no amount of money will be able to heal the wounds of his past, we hope that it will assist in providing him the necessary treatment and closure he has deserved for so long.
We trust that settlements such as these are slowly chipping away at the established norms in institutions where the abuse of children can be systematically engrained.
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