Tennessee Church Responds to Sexual Assault Lawsuit
Last Year, a $ 37.5 million lawsuit was filed against the Fellowship Bible Church of Williamson County in Franklin, Tennessee for the alleged sexual assault of a four-year-old boy. The parents of the unnamed boy claim that their child was sexually assaulted/raped by a church volunteer back in August 2014 at the church ministry while they were at worship services. According to the lawsuit, Fellowship Bible Church had tried to hide the incident from other families and also urged them not to pursue charges. The teenage church volunteer also pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery.
The family is now suing the church for the negligent failure to provide a safe environment for a child. It alleges that the church breached its duty to ensure adequate screening and supervision for its staff and volunteers and did not provide adequate security measures in the classrooms.
According to court documents, the family is seeking $37.5 million for compensatory damages, $22.5 million for the victim four-year-old, and $5 million each for the husband, wife, and daughter who were all members of the church.
Rape as a Civil Action or Personal Injury
It is becoming more common for rape victims or their families to go after their perpetrators and property owners where the incident occurred, in civil actions. Sometimes the criminal justice system falls short of what you need for justice.
Under Tennessee law, hotel owners, parking lots, schools, and other businesses such as churches have the legal responsibility to take reasonable steps to make sure their property is safe. These property owners may be held responsible for criminal acts and sexual assaults that injure someone on their premises.
Additionally, one may also file a lawsuits against the attacker himself/herself for personal injuries associated with the assault. Damages are recoverable for mental suffering, emotional trauma, physical pain, medical care, and treatment costs.
However, it is important to note that the statute of limitations still applies in these instances. Statutes of limitations are laws that set up time limits on how long you have to file your lawsuit (the time period begins to run the date the incident occurred). Tenn. Code § 40-2-101(b) specifically sets the statute of limitation for rape for eight or 15 years, depending on the circumstances. Alternatively, Tenn. Code § 40-2-101(b)(3) and Tenn. Code § 40-2-102(a) set the statute of limitations for assault at one or four years.
Protect Your Rights. Maximize Compensation After an Injury.
The Nashville attorneys at Calhoun Law, PLC handle civil cases for personal injury, premise liability, and civil litigation. We understand that serious physical and emotional injuries demand aggressive and knowledgeable lawyers to pursue your claim(s). If you or a loved one has been the victim of a sexual assault or unsafe premises, contact our Nashville premises liability and personal injury attorneys today. We will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.