News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Meaden & Moore


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Supreme Court debates statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims
The law says the deadline for a suit involving state employees is two years, but non-state employees is 12 years
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Justice Paul Pfeifer played an active role in the debate with attorney Peter Glenn-Applegate over the statute of limitations.
Courtesy of The Supreme Court of Ohio
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The Ohio Supreme Court will decide how long a victim of childhood sexual abuse has to file a lawsuit, if the abuser is a state employee. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has details.
LISTEN: Supreme Court justices debate over statue of limitations child sexual abuse

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:53)


LISTEN: Supreme Court justices debate over statue of limitations child sexual abuse abbreviated version

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:56)


A 2005 state law gives childhood sexual abuse victims 12 years after their 18th birthdays to file lawsuits against their abusers. A 28 year old Franklin County woman claims she was raped and abused by two employees while in a Delaware County juvenile detention center in 2000 and 2001. She filed a lawsuit in 2012. But the state’s Court of Claims says under an older law, the deadline for suing state agencies is only two years, so her claim had to be filed by the time she was 20. Jill Flagg is the woman’s lawyer, and she told the Ohio Supreme Court that the claim of childhood sexual abuse is what’s important here, and that dictates which law is the appropriate one. 

“Child sex abuse is predicated on secrecy, manipulation and shame and often involves deep, psychological trauma. It takes many years and even decades for victims to come forward. That’s what the General Assembly recognized when they enacted Senate Bill 17.”

Why two standards?
But the attorney for the Department of Youth Services says the law is clear. Peter Glenn-Applegate acknowledged to Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justice Paul Pfeifer that the law says the deadline for a suit involving a state employee, whoever it is, is two years. 

O’Connor: “What would she be entitled to do if she were abused by her pediatrician, for example?” 

Glenn-Applegate: “That would be subject to the 12 year statute of limitations in the Court of Common Pleas.” 

Pfeifer: “Not if he worked for a state hospital.” 

Glenn-Applegate: “That’s correct. That would be subject of the Court of Claims statute of limitations, but a private practice physician would be subject to the Court of Claims 12 year.”

Lot's of concerns
Most of the half-hour spent in arguments on this case featured Glenn-Applegate, because it was obvious the justices had lots of concerns. And some of their questions and statements sounded skeptical and bordered on sarcastic. Here’s Justice Pfeifer asking Glenn-Applegate if lawsuits against abusive public school teachers and coaches are held to the same two-year standard that the state is arguing for. 

Glenn-Applegate: “That seems the most reasonable reading of the statute, and I’d point out that it is all about – “ 

Pfeifer: “To you, it seems the most reasonable reading.” 

Glenn-Applegate: “Pardon me? I apologize.” 

Pfeifer: “To you it seems the most reasonable reading.” 

Glenn-Applegate: “The most reasonable reading of the statute. Not the most reasonable policy necessarily, but of course policy determinations are for the General Assembly.”

And here’s Glenn-Applegate presenting to Justice William O’Neill some reasons for the two-year deadline – the first, that a short time frame for lawsuits helps the state identify and deal with abusers quickly. 

Glenn-Applegate: “The second one is that it preserves taxpayer funds. In Mennefee v Queen City Metro, this court said that it is a rational basis for a state passing a law. Third, it comports with – 

O’Neill: “You’ll agree that’s offensive.” 

Glenn-Applegate: “Luckily I have other rational bases as well.” 

O’Neill: “Fortunately.”

The woman’s attorney, Jill Flagg, was eventually brought back and admitted she agreed that her client could still sue the individual guards who abused her. But Justice Pfeifer tossed her a question about the impact of suing a person versus the abuser’s much wealthier employer. 

Pfeifer: “A worker in a youth facility –“ 

Flagg: “Right.” 

Pfeifer: “ – would be one of our lower-paid state employees.” 

Flagg: “That’s true. There would never be redress and recourse –“ 

Pfeifer: “You could have the satisfaction of a win but –“ 

Flagg: “Right, which is therapeutic in and of itself, but not –“ 

Pfeifer: “The financial recovery would be de minimis.”

The woman’s original lawsuit asks for $50,000 in damages. There’s no timeline on when the Supreme Court might deliver a decision.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University