A group of men, including some from Jacksonville, FL who allege they were abused or injured as boys living in a reform school in Marianna, Florida, have sued various agencies of the State of Florida. The abuse and assaults are alleged to have occurred as early as the 1950’s, and only recently came to light.
The men allege that they were taken to a structure on the campus known as the “white house” where they were subjected to severe beatings and personal injury. Dozens of men claim that they were sexually assaulted as well. Some claim that they witnessed boys being killed. Dozens of graves have been found at the site.
This suit raises numerous issues, including the statute of limitations. In Florida, the typical statute of limitations for such claims is four years. For the families of any boys killed at the site, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is typically two years. Sometimes exceptions are made for injuries or abuse to children. Since decades have passed since the alleged incidents are to have occurred, the plaintiffs’ attorneys will earn their keep if they can keep these suits from being dismissed.
The plaintiffs’ cases will likely have a large psychological harm component, which unlike broken bones, can be difficult to demonstrate to a jury. Psychological injuries often become intertwined with other possibly unrelated difficulties that people will face throughout their lifetimes. The plaintiffs’ attorneys’ experience in presenting such intangible but serious injuries will be extremely important to the case as well.
If you need to consult with an attorney regarding a claim resulting from abuse, sexual abuse or physical assault, please do not hesitate to contact our Jacksonville, Florida, personal injury lawyers. Consultations are always free.