Sauder Schelkopf & Lieff Cabraser File Class Action Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Devereux Foundation and QualityHealth Staffing, LLC on Behalf of “Most Vulnerable” Children Across the U.S. | National
PHILADELPHIA – (BUSINESS WIRE) – January 26, 2021–
Sauder Schelkopf LLC and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announce the filing of a class action lawsuit against the Devereux Foundation (a / k / a) for sexual abuse in Pennsylvania on behalf of six people and an alleged class of thousands of other children in the United States Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health) and QualityHealth Staffing, LLC. The complaint lists several alleged violations of federal and state law, including bodily harm. Battery; Failure to report child abuse; Title IX Creation of a sexually hostile culture / increased risk of sexual harassment; intentional indifference to previous sexual harassment; Negligence and failure to adequately protect, monitor, and maintain a safe environment; negligent hiring of unsuitable personnel; negligent storage of unsuitable personnel; negligent supervision; gross negligence; and negligent misrepresentation.
“The appalling, widespread allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of vulnerable children that have been entrusted to Devereux shed light on this large-scale institutional child abuse,” noted Annika K. Martin, partner of Lieff Cabraser, who supported the plaintiffs in the EU represents action. “Given its size, it is just as important for our team to get immediate help to prevent ongoing abuses from continuing as it is to obtain justice for those who have suffered abuse at Devereux over the years and even decades.”
Devereux is one of the largest behavioral health organizations in the country, employing more than 7,500 people in 21 facilities in 13 states. Devereux facilities and programs include inpatient treatment centers, psychiatric hospitals, group homes, assisted living communities, schools, special education centers, and outpatient programs that focus on disadvantaged youth, including people with autism, mental and developmental disabilities, and special mental health needs. QualityHealth Staffing, LLC is a subsidiary of Devereux founded to assist Devereux in recruiting and retaining people to work in the behavioral health field.
Rather than fulfilling its promise and solemn responsibility to protect children among the country’s most vulnerable youth, the complaint alleges that Devereux has instead been “exposed” [vulnerable youth] Predators and Abusers … failed to adopt safety measures and other guidelines to protect children, failed to adequately screen, hire, train, and supervise staff, and failed to perform their duties under state and federal law. “As a result of the alleged misconduct by Devereux, children have been reported to have been sexually abused – often by Devereux employees – in Devereux facilities across the country.
As reported by the media, some sexual abuse cases against Devereux have already gone to court, including one that resulted in a jury ruling of $ 60 million on the plaintiff’s victim. Media attention has focused on allegations of sexual abuse against Devereux. In August 2020, the Philadelphia Inquirer released a devastating report of decades of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse that Devereux employees inflicted on these particularly vulnerable children. The report found that “in the past 25 years at least 41 children aged 12 and over with an IQ of only 50 have been raped or sexually assaulted by Devereux employees”.
“Given the breadth and seriousness of the allegations against Devereux, but also the sheer number of children still living under the control and supervision of Devereux,” said Joe Sauder, partner of Sauder Schelkopf, who also represents the plaintiffs, “we are determined to change that. ” Fall forward and protection and justice for our customers and the greater class asap. “
The complaint further alleges that following the publication of the investigator’s August 2020 report, an additional 13 former Devereux students reported about the sexual abuse they experienced. These children were only 8 years old when they were reportedly sexually abused. Twelve of the children were allegedly ill-treated in facilities in Pennsylvania Devereux and one in a facility in Delaware. Seven of these children reportedly complained to Devereux employees or a social worker while the abuse was taking place. However, their complaints were allegedly ignored and the abuse continued.
The complaint includes allegations of rape and sexual abuse of inpatients as well as ill-treatment by inpatients who were ignored and / or suppressed by Devereux staff and management. Some patients making such allegations reported not only disregard, but also punishment for initiating complaints including food withholding, physical restraint, isolation, and even physical abuse. The lawsuit seeks damages and injunctive relief to prevent Devereux and QualityHealth Staffing from continuing alleged conduct that threatened the proposed class – vulnerable children from more than a dozen US states.
“Protecting children from abuse is the highest calling in our society,” states Mark P. Chalos, partner of Lieff Cabraser, who also represents the plaintiffs. “We want to hold the wrongdoers accountable and prevent them from endangering children in the future.”
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210126006110/de/
CONTACT: Joseph G. Sauder
SAUDER SCHELKOPF LLC
1109 Lancaster Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312
Tel .: (888) 711-9975
firstname.lastname@example.org Annika K. Martin
LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
250 Hudson Street, 8th floor
New York, NY 10013
Tel. (212) 355-9500
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA PENNSYLVANIA
KEYWORD IN INDUSTRY: LEGAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
SOURCE: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Copyright Business Wire 2021.
PUB: 01/26/2021 5:31 p.m. / DISC: 01/26/2021 5:31 p.m.
Copyright Business Wire 2021.