A New Jersey judge ruled that a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against the Horace Mann Prep School may proceed in New Jersey, after determining that the Garden State which has a longer statute of limitations than New York, where the elite prep school is located.
The sexual abuse lawsuit has been brought against the Horace Mann School by an alumnus, who remains anonymous at this time. According to the complainant, he was sexually abused by Johannes Somary, a former music teacher at the elite prep school, approximately 450 times during the 1970s. Nearly three dozen other alumni had also filed suit against the Horace Mann School, alleging that they were abused by teachers and administrators between the 1960s and 1990s, but New York’s statute of limitations is stricter than that of New Jersey and had already passed in New York, so their claims were dismissed.
The alumnus brought the suit in New Jersey because he claims that some of the approximate 450 instances of sexual abuse at the hands of Mr. Somary occurred in New Jersey during Glee Club competitions in New Jersey. Among the reasons cited by the judge for asserting jurisdiction over the Horace Mann School are the fact that “10% of the student body comes from New Jersey, the school website says Horace Mann is a ‘proud and involved citizen’ of the tri-state area, and that the school earned revenue from events, competitions and extracurricular programs held in New Jersey.” The judge also noted that at the time of the alleged abuse, the school’s headmaster accompanied students and teachers to New Jersey. While the claims brought by other abused alumni were dismissed in New York, the Horace Mann School has negotiated settlements with the alumni for their pain and suffering.
We trust teachers and school administrators not only with our children’s education, but also with their safety. Sexual abuse in an educational setting is one of the greatest forms of betrayal. If you or someone you know has been a victim sexual assault or sexual harassment in Massachusetts, and would like to learn whether you have a legal claim for personal injury damages, please call 617-787-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to speak with an expert Massachusetts sexual assault attorney, Massachusetts personal injury accident attorney, or Massachusetts wrongful death attorney.
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