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.

The Holden Arboretum

Levin Furniture

Hennes Paynter Communications


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

An amendment to an Ohio agriculture bill may kill whole bill
I hope the Gov. sticks to his veto, Att takes more out of this state than it puts in.

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Copyright © 2014 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