Sports coaches are often around athletes without supervision. Unfortunately, sexual assault and abuse is common between coaches and the swimmers, gymnasts, basketball players, or other athletes they work with.
The physical, psychological, and financial harm such actions inflict on the victim is astounding and far-reaching. It is difficult to understand how often this occurs. A U.S. study conducted by Karin Volkwein suggested as many as 20 percent of female athletes at a specific university experienced potentially-inappropriate conduct or conversation from a coach. A 2000 Canadian study of its Olympic athletes discovered over 20 percent of athletes surveyed admitted having engaged in sexual intercourse with “an authority figure in sport.”
The coaches who perpetrate these terrible acts are not the only ones who need to account for their actions. The schools and sports leagues who employ these coaches and then ignore warning signs or dismiss reports of abuse also play a role in allowing these crimes to occur.
The lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. handle Michigan coach sexual abuse cases throughout the state. If you or a loved one has been abused, schedule a consultation today to discuss your legal options.
Filing a Coach Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Civil lawsuits that seek to compensate victims financially can have more than one “responsible” party. The coach who abused an athlete is naturally responsible to the victim in a civil suit. So are those who had a duty or obligation to protect the athlete (and who failed to do so).
Victims can also sue individuals and institutions, such as other coaches who had reason to know of the abuse, the school or governing bodies (if these do not exercise appropriate oversight), and others who knew or should have known about the abuse, but who did nothing.
Cases stemming from a coach’s sexual abuse are invariably complicated matters in Michigan, often requiring the assistance of a lawyer. Holding those responsible for enabling and committing sexual abuse against athletes demands that those who played a role in the incident be accountable for what they did, or for what they failed to do. Qualified and experienced lawyers can evaluate the facts in a case and help victims identify those most responsible.
Settlements for Athletes Abused by Coaches
No amount of money can undo abuse, but that does not mean that financial compensation cannot be beneficial to victims. Depending on the facts, a claim can grant a victim numerous types of monetary damages. These include:
- Punitive damages serve to punish those responsible for the abusive acts by making them pay substantial amounts of money as a penalty
- Economic damages can help the victim afford counseling or therapeutic services (if needed) and pay for relocation expenses, opportunities, or employment the athlete missed out on, as well as other similar losses
- Noneconomic damages compensate the athlete for the suffering and distress the abuse caused, as well as the loss of enjoyment of life they have experienced
The overarching goal of these financial damages is for the victim to receive fair an compensation. This makes it possible for the victim to obtain the services he or she may need to heal and reestablish him- or herself. Any athlete that has been sexually abused by a coach or other mentor can benefit from pursuing can pursuing a case with the help of a lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.
Recent Coach Abuse Lawsuits
While some instances of coach sexual abuse are isolated, others involve multiple athletes and are ongoing cases. Some noteworthy lawsuits include:
- An athletic physician, Larry Nassar, who was involved with the U.S. gymnastics team at Michigan State University, sexually abused multiple athletes over a span of ten years. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. represented multiple claimants during this lawsuit.
- A basketball coach, Nicolas Antonucci, sexually abused athletes on his team between the 1950s and 1980s. This lawsuit was filed by 20 victims, claiming a range of sexual abuse and misconduct at Antonucci’s hands.
- At Ohio State University, an athletic medicine physician abused hundreds of athletes during check-ups and examinations, according to a lawsuit filed against the university.
- At Penn State University, a lawsuit was filed for sex assaults by football coach Jerry Sandusky and resulted in a substantial settlement.
- In Minnesota, Thomas Incantalupo, a figure skating coach, sexually assaulted a teenage skater multiple times. As a result, he was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
There are many other instances of athlete sex-abuse being investigated, including those against the U.S. Olympic Committee and other sports institutions. Additional cases are being investigated against coaches and universities, as well as amateur sports organizations.
Seeking Legal Help with a Michigan Coach Sexual Abuse Claim
If you want to file a coach sexual abuse case in Michigan, call a compassionate lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. today. Our team can help you file a claim and request full and fair compensation.
We do not charge a single fee unless we settle for you. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.
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