On 7th July, Merrimack Superior Court Judge Andrew Schulman approved the consolidation of 640+ lawsuits against juvenile facilities for physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
Lead attorneys, including Cyrus F. Rilee and David A. Vicinanzo, filed a 50-page “Master Complaint,” which provided the details of abuses reported in these centers from the mid-19th century to the present day and the concealment of the abuses by the state officials. In this case, legislatures have approved a settlement of $100 million, but the attorneys of the plaintiffs intend to take the cases to the trial stage and argue that the settlement amount is not adequate for the plaintiffs.
The Master complaint contains allegations of abuse reported in different residential facilities established to provide shelter, care and rehabilitate children. The majority of the abuse allegations are against the former youth development center in Manchester, New Hampshire, also known as “The John H. Sununu Youth Services Center. ” Similarly, other state youth facilities such as the State Industrial School, the Adolescent Detention Center, the Tobey School, etc. are also on the list.
According to the complaint, the history of abuse in these centers goes back to the mid-19th century. In 1930, Governor Charles W. Tobey publicly reprimanded the State Industrial School’s board of trustees for their involvement in punitive methods and abuse of children. However, no concrete steps were undertaken to address the issue, and it continues till today.
The lawsuit accuses state authorities responsible for protecting children, not only for failing to prevent abuse but deliberately covering up horrible sexual and mental abuse and neglect taking place in these centers.
Those holding positions of authority have turned their backs on the children and protected the perpetrators; even the state Supreme Court failed to protect the rights of these children and referred to them as “Problem Children.”
The lawsuit cites the decision of U.S. Congressman and State Supreme Justice Charles Douglas III, in which he approved placing abused and neglected children together with the children detained due to criminal activities, going against the expert opinion that establishes that such practices can be detrimental to the interest of children.
The same judge convicted a 13-year-old girl for contempt. The victim was impregnated in the center but declined to identify the father. In this case, the concerned judge concluded that there was no reason to treat a pregnant 13 years old victim of rape differently from an adult for contempt purposes. These two decisions indicate the lack of concern of judges and other authorities for the welfare of children.
The lawsuit has cited complaints of appalling conditions and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of children. There were many investigations conducted, but the results were concealed from the public. As the NH Division of Children, Youth and Families probed into child facilities, they received 15-20 serious complaints, which indicated a pattern of abuse, physical and mental.
Similarly, there are reports of conviction of employees of youth centers, such as temporary order of protection issued against Wesley Oates for engaging in sexual misconduct. Even after his conviction, the Youth Development Center continued to employ Oates for another 20 years, during which he committed multiple acts of abuse.
Pre-Settlement Funding for Youth Development Center Child Abuse Victims
If you are an attorney or plaintiff pursuing the lawsuit against the youth development centers, you may be able to qualify for pre-settlement funding.
Baker Street Funding understands that victims seeking damages in these cases have suffered from different forms of horrible abuse, and in most cases, multiple cases of abuse, such as extreme physical violence and deprivation of medical care, the utmost extreme violent sexual abuse, and various forms of terrifying mental and emotional abuse. This is why we have a dedicated fund to help victims of YDC abuse.
We are confident that attorneys are doing a great job at ensuring the court of law will take these claims into consideration for the blatant violations of the rights of children detained in these facilities and hold the perpetrators accountable for the suffering they have inflicted on children.
Need funding for your juvenile abuse lawsuit? Contact us at (888) 711-3599 to get started today.