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Law firm announces more than 100 Child Victims Act cases

August 13, 2019 09:31 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) — Attorneys representing victims of child abuse announced their plans to file more than 100 lawsuits in Western New York.

Attorney Samantha Breakstone with the law firm Weitz and Luxenberg made the announcement Tuesday in front of the Diocese of Buffalo.

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The Child Victims Act goes into effect Wednesday, essentially repealing the statute of limitations for one year. During that window, people sexually abused as children can file lawsuits even if the abuse happened decades ago.

Legal experts predict thousands of claims against churches, the Boy Scouts, foster care systems, and public and private schools.

Weitz and Luxenberg says they will file its first 100 cases in Western New York. They say they're representing one victim who's now 93 years old.

"We're used to seeing the Catholic Church as the usual suspects because they were just the most publicized suspects," Breakstone said. "They had a calculus that we see across all these cases: trust, responsibility, access to minors, and an institution that is willing to hide it or overlook indiscretions. We're going to see that across a number of institutions."

The law firm claims it has nearly 70 clients in the Finger Lakes.

Other law firms also have plans to file, including the law office of Steve Boyd, which plans to file 30 cases against the Diocese of Rochester. The Marsh Law Firm says they have 12 clients in the Rochester area. Between these law firms and others, News10NBC has put together an unofficial count of 233 local victims planning to file. 

Statewide, attorneys say they are close to 2,000 ready to file or getting ready to file suit.

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