Obtaining Compensation for Victim of Sexual Assault

January 01, 2010

A young mother in upstate New York was the victim of a vicious sexual assault and robbery. Her assailant was eventually captured, convicted, and sent to prison. While in prison, the assailant died. His estate then brought a claim against the State of New York arising from his treatment while in prison, resulting in a substantial judgment against the State.

Before the judgment amount was paid to the estate, Farrell Fritz litigation partner John P. McEntee brought a claim on behalf of the victim against the estate, alleging that the awarded funds belonged not to the estate but rather to the victim because, under New York’s so-called “Son of Sam Law,” the funds were deemed to be “funds of a convicted person.”

After obtaining an order restraining the disbursement of the funds, years of contentious litigation then ensued in the New York State Supreme Court in Nassau County and Albany County and the Surrogate’s Court in Cayuga County. The litigation, involving more than 750 hours of attorney time, included a successful jury trial and the successful defense of appeals to the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court.

The litigation, handled on a pro bono basis by Farrell Fritz, concluded with a substantial (six figure) payment to the firm’s client who, seventeen years after a vicious assault, was finally able to obtain compensation for her injuries.

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