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Law firm to file 100+ child sex abuse cases in Erie County

Victims range in age from their 20's to their 90's
Posted at 1:03 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 18:58:10-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg, from New York City, held a press conference in front of the Diocese of Buffalo to announce its plan to file over 100 child sex abuse cases in Erie County.

Those cases will be filed over the next year during a one-year window that allows victims of any age to file a claim against a sexual perpetrator under the Child Victims Act (CVA), regardless of when it occurred.

Weitz & Luxenberg will file its first two lawsuits on Wednesday August 14 when the look-back window for the CVA goes into effect.

According to Samantha Breakstone, associate attorney for the firm's sex abuse and sex trafficking practice, the first lawsuit alleges that a principal at St. Francis High School in the 1970's sexually abused a 16-year-old boy.

The other lawsuit, said Breakstone, involves an allegation that a pastor at All Saints Church in Buffalo sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in the 1960's.

While priest sex abuse cases have been highly publicized, Breakstone said they are only about 15% of the lawsuits that it plans to file for 1,200 child sex abuse survivors that it is now represents across New York State.

The attorney said the majority of lawsuits involve public/private schools, foster care situations, summer camp counselors, and individual family members.

Legal experts are predicting that thousands of lawsuits could be filed when the Child Victims Act goes into effect.

Those could force some organizations to file for bankruptcy.

When asked about the impact of bankruptcy, Samantha Breakstone said it will only extend the timeline for dealing with those cases.