Law & Order: SFU (Sam For You)

SFU - What Qualifications Are Important in Hiring the Best Sexual Assault Lawyer?

You Know the TV Show, Now Meet the Top LA Firm Representing Survivors

Whether or not you devote much free time to watching television, you’ve likely seen an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU), the long-running television drama with a devoted following. Despite the dark and often disturbing subject matter, millions of viewers have been tuning into the show each week for more than 20 years.

With such heavy topics as child sexual abuse, rape, workplace harassment, and human trafficking, what makes us continue to watch SVU week-after-week? Perhaps it’s a combination of witnessing the pursuit of some of the most heinous criminals imaginable, and the satisfaction in eventually seeing them brought to justice (in most cases). Perhaps it also has to do with the likeable characters, of which there have been countless over the years. For 21 television seasons, Detectives Olivia Benson, Elliot Stabler, Fin Tutuola, John Munch, and so many more have helped successfully track down pedophiles, rapists, and sex traffickers.

And then there’s the order part of the show, where – depending on the season – Assistant District Attorneys like Alexandra Cabot and Rafael Barba work tirelessly to prosecute these horrific crimes and put the perpetrators responsible behind bars.

Sadly, the sexual assault cases you see each week on Law & Order: SVU are much more common and widespread than you might realize, impacting hundreds of thousands of innocent victims each year. Some staggering sexual assault statistics include:

  • Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted
  • Every nine minutes, that victim is a child
  • Only five out of every 1,000 sexual perpetrators will ever end up in prison
  • One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted)
  • One out of every 10 rape victims are male

With such disconcerting figures highlighting the prevalence of sex crimes in America, a sobering fact to consider is that even if you have never personally been a victim of sexual assault, the chances that someone you know and love has are unfortunately quite high.

With that in mind, where should you or someone you love turn if you’re ever the victim of sexual assault (or if you are a survivor who has yet to report a sex crime)?

What Qualifications Are Important in Hiring the Best Sexual Assault Lawyer?

There are some standard questions that you should always ask a lawyer who might represent you in a sexual assault or abuse case. Five of the most important questions to ask a sexual abuse attorney include:

  1. Have you successfully handled sexual abuse cases similar to mine?
  2. How often do you take cases to trial versus settle out of court?
  3. How long will a case like mine typically take to settle or reach a verdict?
  4. Who will be the primary attorney handling my case?
  5. How much will my case cost, and what sort of damages award can I expect to receive?

For survivors, Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) answers to the above critical questions are what make us the best choice for every type of sex crime case:

1. Have you successfully handled sexual abuse cases similar to mine?

Samuel Dordulian and his team of Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) have successfully represented clients in virtually every type of case imaginable under the ‘sexual assault’ umbrella. Whether it’s taking on massive institutions like the Catholic Church or Boy Scouts of America, or representing survivors of rape, workplace sexual harassment, childhood sexual abuse, human trafficking, internet/revenge pornography, etc., Dordulian and his team have the experience, knowledge, and dedication necessary to help you prevail in your lawsuit and recover the maximum damages award available under the law.

2. How often do you take cases to trial versus settle out of court?

We handle each case with an individualized strategy established according to the needs and desires of the survivor. Unlike some firms, we are not afraid to go to trial. With over 100 jury trials under his belt, Samuel Dordulian has the skill and experience required to win in court.

3. How long will a case like mine typically take to settle or reach a verdict?

The time for a sexual assault suit to either settle or reach a verdict varies depending on the specific circumstances related to each particular case. However, rather than employing a tactic frequently used by other “mega firms” and rushing to secure a quick settlement offer (which could result in a significantly reduced financial award for you, the survivor), DLG evaluates each case individually, and takes the most prudent course of action to ensure the best outcome and highest damages award for each and every client. As stated above, we are ready and willing to go to court with any sexual assault claim to ensure the best interest of the survivor is always maintained.

4. Who will be the primary attorney handling my case?

DLG’s Founder & President, Samuel Dordulian, personally leads each sexual abuse case. Rather than meeting with the face of the firm and then being passed off to a junior associate with less experience (a common practice at “mega firms”), each DLG sexual abuse client can be confident that they will have direct representation from former LA Deputy District Attorney and sex crimes prosecutor, Samuel Dordulian. Additionally, all DLG clients are guaranteed 24/7 access and support from every member of his experienced SAJE Team, providing an unparalleled advantage only available through Dordulian Law Group.

5. How much will my case cost, and what sort of damages award can I expect to receive?

At DLG, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no up front or out of pocket expenses for our expert legal services. Depending on the circumstances of your case, financial damages awards for sexual abuse suits can vary from tens-of-thousands of dollars to hundreds-of-millions of dollars. At DLG, we always seek the maximum possible financial compensation award for you, including (when applicable) pursuing treble (triple) damages under AB 218 in childhood sexual abuse cases where a cover-up can be proven. Under AB 218’s treble damages clause, prevailing plaintiffs can be awarded triple damages by the court in the event of a cover-up (e.g. a $10 million damages award would actually amount to $30 million if treble damages were applied).

Law & Order: SFU (Sam For You)

What is Law & Order: SFU?

Although Law & Order: SVU is a source of semi-fictionalized entertainment for many, it’s also a fairly accurate depiction of how the judicial system, particularly in terms of investigating and prosecuting sex crimes, operates every day in major cities across the country, including Los Angeles.

Law & Order: SFU (Sam For You) means that if you’re a survivor of a sex crime that you may have seen on Law & Order: SVU, Samuel Dordulian – former sex crimes prosecutor as Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County – is the best sexual assault lawyer to handle your case due to his years of experience, 99% trial success rate, and DLG’s unique team of Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) available to you 24/7.

When you or someone you love has been impacted by a Law & Order: SVU-type case, remember to turn to Los Angeles’ Law & Order: SFU FirmDordulian Law Group – and ask for Sam Dordulian.

Our expert team of attorneys can help rideshare accident victims secure financial damages. Contact our top-rated lawyers online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Dordulian Law Group – Los Angeles’ Law & Order Firm for Survivors

DLG is the premier sexual assault firm representing survivors who have endured every type of abuse imaginable – including rape, sexual battery, forcible touching, sexual harassment, incest, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, child pornography, and much more. If you take a moment to consider any case featured on Law & Order: SVU, it’s virtually impossible that the experienced and dedicated team of sexual assault professionals at DLG hasn’t successfully handled a similar case over the years, helping survivors secure the justice they deserve as well as recover a maximum financial damages award.

But before we outline the myriad ways Dordulian Law Group exceeds the competition, let’s take a moment to provide some context so you may better understand how DLG was founded, and why it has become the superior sexual assault firm for survivor clients in Los Angeles and throughout California.

DLG’s Founder – Samuel Dordulian – Found His Calling Early in Life

Samuel Dordulian is a highly-regarded and veritably successfully attorney who has practiced both sides of the law – first as Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County prosecuting sex crimes, and today in his own practice as a skilled and fiercely loyal advocate for survivors in sexual assault civil lawsuits. Whether prosecuting deplorable sex offenders or advocating for sexual abuse survivors, as a litigator Mr. Dordulian’s job requires excellent public speaking skills. However, as a young kid in junior high, those skills didn’t exactly come naturally.

As a student in the 9th grade, Sam Dordulian was extremely shy and afraid to speak in front of the class. His history teacher, Mr. Drummond, presented the class with an assignment where each student would act out a role in a mock trial. Terrified, Dordulian hoped Mr. Drummond would choose someone, anyone, other than him to speak in front of the class. As it happened, Mr. Drummond chose Dordulian to be the prosecutor in the mock trial (the very career he would obtain in the district attorney’s office only a few years later).

Dordulian nearly had a full-blown anxiety attack just before he was about to present to the class, but Mr. Drummond was very encouraging and helped him through the process to overcome his fears. To this day, Dordulian vividly remembers the moment he summoned the courage to walk up in front of the class and give a presentation, as if he were a legitimate prosecutor within the mock trial.

Mr. Dordulian has described that feeling as overwhelming, as if he somehow transformed and instantly discovered a power he never knew he possessed. “I felt alive. That feeling, it was so powerful, like nothing I’d ever experienced before.” In that very moment, Dordulian knew he wanted to be a prosecutor. He was only 14 at the time.

That experience transformed Dordulian from a shy kid with a fear of public speaking to a career attorney who would eventually rise to the ranks of Lead Sex Crimes Prosecutor in the Deputy District Attorney’s Office (for Los Angeles, it’s the equivalent of the role you see played by characters like A.D.A. Alexandra Cabot and Rafael Barba on TV’s Law & Order: SVU). Today, Dordulian is LA’s most preeminent sexual abuse attorney, leading a team of Sexual Assault Justice Experts within a firm that has successfully recovered over $100 million for clients.

*Side note: Mr. Dordulian hopes to one day find Mr. Drummond and express his profound gratitude for the impact he had on his life and career. Mr. Drummond, if you’re reading this, Sam is grateful you encouraged him to take that step and find the courage to speak in front of the class. Not only did your support help change Mr. Dordulian’s life and find his true calling, it has positively impacted hundreds of personal injury victims – the majority of which are survivors of sexual assault – helping them secure justice and recover the financial damages they so deserve.

Anyone Can be Affected by Sexual Abuse

As a junior high student, Samuel Dordulian was on the YMCA basketball team. His coach was a sergeant in the local police force. One day, Sam was pulled out of class by a police officer who had many questions to ask regarding whether or not the coach had ever acted inappropriately or engaged in sexual behavior against him or any of his teammates. Sam was one of the lucky ones. The coach had never attempted to sexually abuse him at any time.

However, as Sam would later learn, the coach had been victimizing several other teammates. It was Dordulian’s first exposure to the notion of childhood sexual abuse and how it can impact someone close to you. As a child in junior high, it’s often difficult to process the thought of a trusted adult like a coach engaging in such horrific acts with those closest to you. Though Dordulian may have not fully grasped the gravity of the situation at the time, it would play a pivotal role in his future career trajectory.

Samuel Dordulian Joins the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

Fresh out of law school and at the ripe age of 25, Sam’s first case in the DA’s office involved a natural father molesting his own daughter. Given the severity of the case and the fact that it was his first experience in the DA’s office, it was difficult for Dordulian to accept why it was inexplicably filed as a misdemeanor.

As such a young and inexperienced DA, Dordulian was facing a considerable challenge in his first case. The defense had hired an expert witness to put forth the defense of child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS). At the time, Dordulian knew nothing about the condition. Nevertheless, he persevered day and night throughout the trial, researched every book he could find on the subject (which, prior to hearing the defense witness’s testimony, he knew absolutely nothing about), and ended up convicting the pedophile, prevailing in his very first trial.

After being handed a sexual abuse case for his first assignment in the DA’s office, Dordulian recalled the incident with his coach in junior high. Those two factors played a major role in shaping Dordulian’s career aspirations from that day forward. Inspired by his ability to help an innocent child who had been subjected to abhorrent abuse at the hands of her father, when the day came for Dordulian to choose a specialty unit of focus within the district attorney’s office, he immediately chose sex crimes. “I feel I was kind of destined to do this kind of work,” Dordulian said. “And it’s hard to express just how rewarding it is to help survivors secure justice, many after years of suffering in silence.” “It’s definitely been the right move for me,” he added.

In a few short years, Dordulian worked his way up to Senior Sex Crimes Prosecutor. In that role, he handled not only the city’s largest and most notorious cases, but also a number of the nation’s most prominent sex crime cases, including those involving institutional abuse like the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, and many more. During his time in the DA’s office, the majority of cases Dordulian handled involved representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Founding DLG to be The Top-Rated, Most Successful Sexual Abuse Firm in Los Angeles, California

When Samuel Dordulian began his career as a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, a passion for advocating on behalf of sexual assault survivors is what drove him to become a sex crimes prosecutor. In that role, Dordulian felt he could have the greatest impact, as a committed advocate for defenseless survivors such as children.

Taking heinous criminals off the streets and putting them behind bars is implicitly impactful. But as a sex crimes prosecutor, whether trying a domestic abuser, serial rapist, or a predator pedophile, Dordulian was able to give survivors something that other prosecutors often couldn’t provide their clients – a chance, in some cases, at a new beginning.

Dordulian witnessed first-hand the blind devastation that sexual assault can wreak on anyone, of any age, at any time. Sexual assault does not discriminate. No one is immune to it, and yet no case is the same. Moreover, no singular path of healing exists for survivors.

In his years spent prosecuting sexual predators, Dordulian came to realize that because each sexual assault case was unique, a unique approach to legal representation was also required. When he eventually made the jump to open his own firm, Dordulian made a commitment to approach sexual assault cases, first and foremost, by addressing the various needs of survivors.

All-Encompassing, Individualized Representation and Support

Sexual assault can manifest in many different ways, and survivors can be affected, individually, in equally as many ways. Through his experience in the DA’s office, Samuel Dordulian came to understand that, with cases of sexual abuse, in order for justice to truly be achieved it must be according to the survivor’s own terms and needs. What a survivor requires to obtain justice on paper (outwardly) can be completely different from what she or he needs in terms of personal healing (internally).

Survivors may to want to come forward, but feel unable to do so due to a number of personal circumstances and considerations. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to come forward and report a sex crime is one that can only be fully understood by the survivor.

As Deputy District Attorney, Dordulian witnessed that fact day-after-day. He also realized that one of the most important questions to ask in a sexual assault case is, “What do you, the survivor, need?” As it turns out, survivors often need far more than just legal representation in order to begin the healing process. The best way to meet those needs, as Dordulian came to understand firsthand through representing countless victims of sexual assault, is through an all-encompassing legal approach that offers individualized options for survivors.

“I can be confident in my ability to help a survivor in the courtroom, but I realized their needs extend far beyond my legal expertise. I need an expert team around me to provide support that helps this person truly heal beyond a guilty verdict or a million dollar settlement award.”

That’s when Dordulian came up with a four-tiered approach to meeting the needs of survivors by providing every individual client with professional and exemplary:

  1. Legal representation
  2. Investigative representation
  3. Psychological/Medical support
  4. Emotional support

Thus, the DLG Sex Crimes Division SAJE Team was founded.

DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts)

Perhaps the best way to explain the DLG Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) Team is by attempting to relate each team member with a character from Law & Order: SVU. What makes the SAJE Team unique is that, rather than traditional firms which simply provide a single attorney to represent a survivor, DLG provides a four-tiered team that includes professionals from both the Law and the Order side of the Law & Order: SVU equation:

  1. Litigation/Case Lead: Samuel Dordulian – Think of Dordulian as a dynamic sexual abuse lawyer possessing the skills and traits of multiple Law & Order: SVU characters. With his experience as a sex crimes prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, Dordulian could be considered a combination of Raphael Barba and Alexandra Cabot in terms of legal prowess and experience. However, given his founding of DLG and extraordinary success representing survivors, it wouldn’t necessarily be a stretch to associate him with Albert Finney’s character in Erin Brokovich, or Denzel Washington’s character in Philadelphia either.
  2. Investigative Lead: Detective Moses Castillo – Think of Detective Moses, a recently retired 30-year veteran of the LAPD and former Unit Leader in the city’s elite Sex Crimes Division, as a combination of two classic SVU characters – Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson. Detective Moses combines the skill and dedication of both (along with Stabler’s tenacity and Benson’s compassion and empathy). Detective Moses gives his personal cell phone number to every survivor whose case he investigates. He has formed lifelong bonds and communicates regularly with countless survivors, long after their cases have been closed. He makes himself available to any survivor in need, and uses his decades of experience to help guide them along the road to healing.
  3. Psychological/Clinical Lead: DLG employs an in-house, licensed clinical therapist to address the emotional and psychological needs that many survivor clients report following sexual abuse trauma. If you had to associate DLG’s clinical therapist with an SVU character, the closest example would probably be Dr. George Huang (except our clinical therapist provides support for survivors instead of analyzing heinous criminals). When Samuel Dordulian created the SAJE Team positions, he did so with the understanding that access to clinical therapy for survivors is of utmost importance both throughout the legal process and after prevailing in court.
  4. Trained Advocates Addressing Emotional Needs: DLG’s SAJE Team also includes two licensed, nationally accredited victim advocates who are available 24/7 as a support network for our survivor clients. Our dedicated victim advocates work tirelessly to ensure all the support needs of survivors are met. While there may not be a specific SVU character to directly associate with our victim advocates, many of the survivor characters’ stories you see on the show are actually based on true accounts of individuals who went on to become full-time victim advocates.

Why DLG is The Best Firm to Handle Your Sexual Abuse Case

For survivors, choosing the right sexual abuse attorney is an extremely important decision. Determining in advance one’s personal standards for experience and general qualities in a lawyer can help ensure you have the most positive and successful outcome possible when pursuing justice for your sex crime claim.

Before making a choice, it’s advisable to first answer the question: What type of attorney do I want to represent me?

Take a moment to view DLG by the numbers:

  • Over $100 million in damages recovered for our clients
  • Over 50 years of both Law & Order sex crimes experience
  • Hundreds of successful sexual abuse survivor clients

With DLG (aka Law & Order: SFU) you have a firm that offers a unique type of individualized, ell-encompassing, four-tiered legal representation that can’t be matched – even by other Los Angeles “mega firms.” Law & Order: SFU means you can be confident knowing Samuel Dordulian is fighting for you every step of the way.

Coming forward to pursue a sexual assault claim and relive such a horrific trauma is never easy. However, if justice is something you wish to pursue, DLG offers a welcoming environment designed to make the process as stress-free and seamless as possible. Just as a young Sam Dordulian summoned the courage to speak in front of his junior high class, we encourage every survivor to strongly consider taking the step forward to speak up and report a sex crime. We tend to a survivor’s unique variety of needs, beyond simple legal representation. All survivors deserve an opportunity at justice. Don’t view the process as intimidating or filled with unknowns. Rather, take a moment to realize that by choosing DLG you essentially have the closet thing to Los Angeles’ reality version of Law & Order: SVU’s cast of characters at your service.

If you’ve watched Law & Order: SVU and considered coming forward (or encouraging a loved one to do so), but hesitated because you worried about the process of finding the right lawyer, testifying, legal costs, etc., you can put those fears aside by choosing DLG.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation where we can answer any questions you have concerning filing a sexual abuse claim. We promise to provide you with professional and personalized service that includes the care and attention you would expect from a boutique firm, but with the resources and results that are typically only available at “mega firms.”

When choosing a sexual abuse lawyer, choose Law & Order: SFU (Sam For You).

11 Most Dangerous Highways and Roads in California

11 Most Dangerous Highways and Roads in California

From the winding beach roads and busy city avenues, to the five-lane highways and endless interstates, California has a wide range of possibilities for drivers seeking to get from Point A to Point B. And while a vehicle accident can happen on any type of roadway, there are certain conditions and situations that make some roadways more dangerous than others. For instance, low visibility, narrow lanes, dense traffic, poor navigability, speed limit, and many other factors can affect the danger level of a particular highway or road. In 2018, approximately 3,563 people died in traffic accidents in California. With so many car accidents, California was the state with the second-highest number of traffic deaths in the United States that year.

Californians, on average, drive around 14,500 miles annually. As a result, avoiding the issue of traffic safety is essentially impossible. Driving is a big part of most people’s lives, but this is especially true in the Golden State. Accordingly, traffic safety should be a major priority as well.

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

California traffic accidents can leave victims severely injured, and tragically result in fatalities far too often. The more information drivers are equipped with when traveling our roadways, the better. Knowing when you are on a particularly dangerous road or highway may help you drive with a bit more vigilance when necessary, possibly preventing car accidents. We’ve outlined 11 of the most dangerous highways and roads in the state of California to help keep you safe and informed.

1) U.S. Route 199

The danger of U.S. Route 199 (also known as Redwood Highway) cannot be pinpointed to a single stretch of the road. Rather, throughout the 80-mile highway, one death occurs approximately every two miles. U.S. Route 199 contains a dangerous mixture of narrow and twisting lanes, with a great deal of distracting views for drivers. Most driver deaths from U.S. Route 199 car accidents are a result of vehicles swerving off the road and colliding with large trees.

2) Highway 1

Highway 1 is an extremely narrow and winding roadway. In fact, it narrows to almost one lane each way throughout the entire Big Sur region. Rain or shine, the dangers of this road are always present. Beautiful, sunny views commonly distract drivers, and rain and moisture can cause mudslides and rockslides. And with the stunning cliffs and overlooks, a small swerve can turn into a deadly plummet resulting in a fatal car accident. This road is as dangerous as it is scenic.

3) State Route 138

This roadway has earned notorious nicknames such as “highway of death,” “blood alley,” and “death road.” State Route 138 winds from Interstate 15 to the town of Palmdale and accrues an unfortunate number of annual deaths in this moderate distance. Sections of Route 138 are infamous for their steep, mountainous landscapes, sharp S-turns, and dramatic drop-offs. This road used to average about 10 deaths per year. However, in 2006, the government began improvements to the road to create wider lanes and better visibility. The road is now a bit safer than before, but still remains highly dangerous for California drivers.

4) State Route 99

A report by Value Penguin found State Route 99 to be the most dangerous highway in the United States. This road runs through California’s central valley and accumulates about 62.3 deadly car accidents per 100 miles. That statistic means more fatal car accidents occur on SR-99 than any other highway in the country. Most fatal car accidents on SR-99 occur in Fresno. Other areas, such as the stretch through Bakersfield and to the Grapevine, are also dangerous. Drunk driving and poor visibility due to dark roads are two big factors contributing to the safety issues on SR-99. This road is also ranked as the nation’s darkest highway, and about 40% of the traffic accidents happen at night. There is a lack of lighting along the road and sometimes car headlights are insufficient. Moreover, SR-99 ranks second for highways with the most drunk drivers. Between 2011 and 2015, the road accumulated 16.9 fatal car accidents per 100 miles.

5) 1-10 Freeway

Interstate 10 was ranked by the Value Penguin report, referenced above, as the fourth most dangerous highway in the United States. This freeway runs from California to Florida, and has been deemed the “deadliest” freeway with approximately 1,342 fatal crashes between 2011 and 2015. Drunk driving and dark driving conditions also contribute greatly to the ample number of car accidents along this dangerous roadway.

6) I-15 California

Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is one of the deadliest stretches of road in the country. A study from the U.S. Department of Transportation found that from 1994 to 2008, 1,069 people perished in 834 car accidents along California I-15. Many of the traffic fatalities occurring on this roadway are attributable to human factors such as driving at an excessive speed, driving while impaired from alcohol, failing to wear a seatbelt, texting, using cell phones, etc. However, the road itself may also be to blame for some car accident deaths. The stretch of I-15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles is a straight road in the middle of the desert where drivers can see for miles all around them. Sadly, this frequently results in drivers increasing their speed and failing to pay proper attention to the road.

7) I-5 California

Interstate 5 in California is home to more than one million motorists per day. But it is also the location of dozens of fatal car accidents every year. The stretch of I-5 that runs through Orange County is a particularly dangerous area due to the increased number of semi-trucks traversing to and from Los Angeles each day.

8) U.S. Route 101

While the views from U.S. Route 101 are spectacular, they also make for distracting driving opportunities that can turn deadly for drivers. This stretch of road-from its southernmost point in Los Angeles to its northernmost point in Valley-averaged a staggering one fatality every 1.3 miles over a seven-year period.

9) Interstate 8

The portion of Interstate 8 that goes through San Diego County is identified as the most dangerous section of this road. From 2010 to 2016, Interstate 8 was home to 134 fatal crashes resulting in 145 deaths. The Interstate is about 171 miles long within the borders of California. This equates to 1.3 car crashes per mile.

10) State Route 2

Between 2010 and 2016, State Route 2 accrued 52 fatal vehicle/motorist crashes and 54 deaths. This highway reaches the high elevation point of 7,903 feet, and the eastern portions of the Angeles Crest Highway are infamously dangerous due to their switchbacks and blind curves. Large portions of State Route 2 are often so dangerous during the winter due to heavy snowfall that they are closed for extended periods.

11) State Route 78

State Route 78 runs through San Diego County and accrued 62 car crashes and 75 deaths between 2010 and 2016. This number may seem lower than others referenced above, but SR-78 deserves a dangerous reputation due to the density of these fatal crashes. SR-78 is only 215 miles long, so 62 crashes and 72 deaths are actually exceedingly high for such a short stretch of road when compared to other highways such as Interstate 5 (which is almost 800 miles long).

Our expert team of attorneys can help rideshare accident victims secure financial damages. Contact our top-rated lawyers online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Have You Been the Victim of a Car Accident?

Have You Been the Victim of a Car Accident?
Without the assistance of an attorney, it can be very difficult to pursue a claim to recover monetary compensation for a car accident. The legal process can be a daunting task for a car accident victim to undertake alone. This is precisely why it benefits accident victims to contact an expert car accident attorney at Dordulian Law Group (“DLG”). Contacting a reputable attorney is the most important step to getting compensated for your injuries from a car accident.

The experienced car accident attorneys at Dordulian Law Group will fight for your rights as an injured victim and ensure that you receive the largest possible amount of financial compensation under the law. Our attorneys have over two decades of experience representing clients who have been injured in car accidents, recovering over $100 million for personal injury victims like you.

The DLG team includes former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Samuel Dordulian, as well as our Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, a former LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective with over 30 years of experience.

The bottom line is, DLG attorneys will fight to get you what you deserve after being injured in a car accident. We are well-equipped to take on and win your case, helping you ease the process of healing from the accident by ensuring you never have to worry about paying for exorbitant medical bills. We are here to help prevent you from ever having to cover any out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from your car accident. Various types of related expenses can include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact a DLG car accident attorney today to learn more about how we can help you.

When Should a Car Accident Victim Contact a DLG Lawyer?

There is no such thing as contacting a car accident lawyer too soon. Personal injury cases are best handled as soon as possible after the accident. Once you hire an experienced DLG personal injury attorney, we can take on the responsibility of communicating (and negotiating) with your insurance company and medical providers. If you wait too long to contact a lawyer, it is possible that the value of your case may be reduced, or even deemed ineligible to file. Every case is subject to a statute of limitations, or time limit, in which a person is required to file a civil claim (typically two years for personal injury car accidents). The sooner you contact a DLG lawyer, the sooner we can contact witnesses, preserve evidence, and negotiate the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive. You may be entitled to significant damages for compensation towards medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

If you believe you have a personal injury case and wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning expert attorneys online or by phone today.

You Don’t Pay if We Don’t Win Your Los Angeles, California Car Accident Case

DLG attorneys always have the best interest of our clients in mind, putting your needs first. At DLG, we handle all cases on a contingency basis, or “no win, no fee” agreement. This means that the injured victim (called the “plaintiff” in a lawsuit) does not have to pay us a penny if we do not win their case.

When we take on a car accident case, we’re confident in our experience and ability to handle it successfully and recover the maximum financial damages award available. That’s why we’re able to ensure you pay nothing up-front. We only collect a percentage of any settlement or verdict that we win for you. This means that if we accept your case, we not only believe we can win – we will do everything in our power to ensure we prevail. Additionally, when we accept your case, it signifies we are willing to invest our time, energy, and resources into recovering the maximum compensation possible for you. With DLG on your side, you can focus all of your efforts on recovery and healing. Let us handle the stressful details for you, fighting as your dedicated legal advocate following a Glendale or Los Angeles-area car accident.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Here are DLG, we offer free consultations with experienced attorneys. All consultations are confidential and there will be absolutely no obligation for you to hire us afterward. During your free consultation, a DLG lawyer will review the facts of your car accident claim, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options. If you would like a free consultation for your car accident or personal injury case, call us at 800-880-7777 or request a case evaluation online. We’re here to help you in whatever way we can.

8 Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault

8 Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault

If you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual assault and in search of support resources, we are here to help point you in the right direction. Sexual assault can be highly traumatizing, leading to multiple lifelong effects that can prove extremely challenging and burdensome. Accordingly, survivors may want to consider setting up a support network to help them through the healing process. Support resources come in many forms, such as physical, emotional, or even legal (via civil lawsuits pursuing financial compensation for damages).

Trauma such as sexual assault is often easier to cope with when you have a reliable support system in place. Below we have compiled a list of helpful resources for sexual assault survivors, such as peer support, crisis hotlines, and victims’ rights information. And if you or someone you love would like to successfully pursue justice through the legal system, Dordulian Law Group (“DLG”) is here to help. DLG has an experienced team of sexual assault lawyers who are ready to guide you through the entire process with the care, attention, and support you deserve. Filing a sexual assault civil lawsuit and receiving compensation for the trauma and harm you senselessly endured can be validating and helpful for a survivor.

What is Sexual Assault?

The term ‘sexual assault’ covers a range of unwanted sexual behavior and contact. Sexual assault occurs when the survivor has not given consent, yet the perpetrator still engages in sexual contact or behavior. Importantly, if a survivor is either too young, not in the right mind, or unable to give consent for any reason, then consent has technically not been granted under the law, and the perpetrator has committed assault.

The United States Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Sexual assault can be an ‘umbrella term’ that includes sexual behavior such as rape, fondling, attempted rape, voyeurism, etc.

Ultimately, sexual assault is never acceptable. It is an act of violence and should never affect an innocent victim. If you or a loved one are a survivor of sexual assault, you may benefit from some of the following suggested support resources:

Sexual Assault Prevention Resources

It is imperative to understand and accept that sexual assault is NEVER the survivor’s fault. No specific action on the part of a survivor causes them to be sexually assaulted. No one is ever “asking for it,” or partially responsible for an experience with sexual violence. However, there are some resources that can help educate you on methods for avoiding dangerous situations, and help you recognize when an increased risk for sexual assault may be present. There are also resources for communities at large to help prevent sexual violence in their local areas. Some of these resources include:

  • The CDC has a “STOP SVguidebook that explains strategies to help communities prevent or reduce sexual violence. The acronym “STOP SV” stands for certain strategies:
    • Promote Social norms that protect against violence (such as mobilizing men and boys as allies);
    • Teach skills to prevent sexual violence (such as teaching intimate relationship skills to adolescents and promoting healthy sexuality);
    • Provide Opportunities to empower and support girls and women (such as increasing leadership opportunities for young girls);
    • Create Protective environments (such as enhancing safety monitoring in schools); and
    • Support Victims/Survivors to lessen harm (such as psychological treatment for survivors of sexual violence).
  • The National Panhellenic Conference put together a Toolkit for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention.
  • RAINN has a webpage dedicated to sexual violence “safety and prevention” that has multiple links to other resources and discusses many topics, such as what parents and college campuses can do to help prevent sexual assault.
  • Colleges and Universities, such as Cornell College, also have information on sexual assault risk reduction strategies on their websites.

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

8 Important Sexual Assault Survivor Resources

Survivors of sexual assault have endured a highly traumatic experience in which their control was abhorrently stolen by the perpetrator. Therefore, it can be very important to re-empower through encouraging survivors to make decisions and take steps towards whatever their preferred healing process may entail. This can involve taking legal action, getting mental health support, seeking medical care, peer support, and more. Below is a list of some organizations that specialize in helping survivors and offer various resource options:

  1. RAINN has a National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline that offers confidential support and crisis assistance. RAINN recently released an App that offers survivors of sexual assault, and their family or friends, support, self-care tools, and general information to help cope with the effects of trauma. RAINN also posts “survivor stories” so survivors can understand they are not alone and potentially receive some advice on healing and coping.
  2. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is dedicated to helping survivors of sexual violence. They can connect survivors with resources specific to their area, and the NSVRC website has specific information on healing after surviving a sexual assault.
  3. California’s Victim’s Compensation Board has a specific section in their “Victim’s Resources” page for sexual assault survivors that links to additional, California-specific resources.
  4. The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault has advocacy, prevention, and survivor-based resources. They also have a webpage with detailed information about survivor rights. All of the Coalition’s webpages have a “Get Help” button in the top righthand section that takes browsers to a page with a list of sexual assault agencies, outreach offices, crisis lines, etc.
  5. Victim Connect resource center has information on victims’ rights, self-care, financial assistance, and even an online chat feature.
  6. The Sexual Assault Demonstrative Initiative wrote a recent report that lists many online support resources, such as peer support groups like After Silence.
  7. The Anti-Violence Project offers a hotline, counseling, and support groups for survivors of various types of violence, including sexual assault.
  8. A report on Common Feelings of Survivors of Sexual Assault explains in great detail some emotions survivors often experience, and how to cope with the feelings.

Remember that not all resources are right for everyone; survivors may find some types of support helpful and others not so helpful. Therapy and peer support groups may benefit one survivor and be too intensive for another. It is important to find the specific type of support that is right for you.

If you have questions about what type of support or resources might be best for you, please consider contacting a member of our SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts). We are available 24/7 to answer any questions you have and provide you with direct support – regardless of whether or not you wish to pursue a civil lawsuit against your perpetrator. We’re here for all survivors because we believe in supporting those who have been victimized in any way possible.

Sexual Assault Survivors Can Seek Justice in Civil Court

Sexual Assault Survivors Can Seek Justice in Civil Court

Although a perpetrator of sexual assault is sometimes criminally prosecuted, these prosecutions focus on punishing the perpetrator rather than compensating the survivor. Therefore, a survivor can bring a lawsuit in civil court and seek justice on their own terms, with a goal of recovering financial compensation for damages. As a plaintiff in a sexual assault civil lawsuit, a survivor can receive compensation for trauma they suffered directly or indirectly from the sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a civil legal claim under California Civil Code Section 1708.5. For the purposes of a sexual assault claim, it is often referred to as “sexual battery,” which occurs when the perpetrator engages in harmful or offensive sexual contact, or when the victim is placed in imminent fear of such contact. Consent is also an important component of sexual assault cases. A survivor of sexual assault did not give consent for the sexual contact from, or behavior of, the perpetrator.

At DLG, we have recovered over $100 million for our clients, the majority of which have been sexual assault survivors. If you are ready to take the first step towards pursuing justice and recovering financial damages against your attacker, contact us today to discuss your case and the type of compensation you may be eligible to receive.

Compensation For Sexual Assault Survivors

A plaintiff survivor in a sexual assault case can sue for money damages for various types of harm suffered. A survivor could get compensation for sexual assault related expenses such as physical therapy, past and future medical bills, psychological therapy, lost wages from missed work, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc. Survivors can also obtain punitive damages, whereby the court awards additional money to punish the perpetrator for causing harm to the survivor.

How Long After The Sexual Assault Occurred Can a Survivor Sue?

Once the statute of limitations expires, a survivor can no longer sue the sexual assault perpetrator in civil court. A statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time after an offense that an affected survivor can bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies based on the type of civil offense (i.e. assault, battery, negligence, etc.).

In California, the statute of limitations for a civil sexual assault claim is based on the age of the sexual assault survivor. For adults, the statute of limitations is ten years after the last act or attempted act of sexual assault; or three years from the date the plaintiff discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, an injury that resulted from defendant’s act or attempted act of sexual assault (Assembly Bill No. 1619).

For sexual assault survivors who were children (less than eighteen-years-old) at the time of the assault, the survivor has until age forty; or five years from the date of discovery of the abuse, to bring a civil lawsuit (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1).

For a limited time, under AB 218 all childhood sexual assault survivors are eligible to file a civil claim regardless of how long ago the crime occurred. The bill’s limited three-year lookback window clause allows any survivor to file a claim in pursuit of a financial damages award until December 31, 2022. After that deadline, however, the lookback window expires and the standard statute of limitations resumes. Childhood sexual assault survivors over 40 years of age who do not take advantage of the AB 218 lookback window and file a claim immediately will be left without legal recourse after January 1, 2023.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault and have decided you are interested in pursuing legal action, contact DLG as soon as possible to be put in contact with one of our award-winning, top-rated sexual assault lawyers. Once the statute of limitations runs out, you will have no legal recourse. Contact us today at 800-880-7777 to ensure your claim is filed properly and within all required deadlines.

DLG is Here to Help With Sexual Assault Claims

We encourage survivors of child sexual assault to seek help through the resources listed above, and we are also here to help if survivors want to seek justice on their own terms through the legal process. If a survivor decides to pursue legal recourse for an instance of sexual assault, it is critical that they have competent and compassionate legal counsel like that provided by DLG and the SAJE Team.

Dordulian Law Group (“DLG”) specializes in sexual assault cases and is California’s leading firm for survivors due to our unique team of expert professionals in this area of the law: our Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) Team. DLG provides every survivor with the four-tiered support of our SAJE Team. This is precisely what makes DLG the most trusted, top-rated choice for sexual abuse survivors in Los Angeles and throughout California. DLG’s SAJE team ensures that survivors are provided with a special type of representation and support which cannot be found elsewhere in the Los Angeles or greater-California legal community.

If you believe you have a sexual abuse case and wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning expert attorneys online or by phone today.

Samuel Dordulian, DLG’s founder, was formerly the Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. In this role he served as the lead sex crimes prosecutor, and successfully obtained many lifetime sentences against some of the city’s most loathsome and heinous sexual predators.

Today, Dordulian leads the SAJE Team in representing survivors of all types of sexual assault, ensuring they receive the best legal representation and support available, ultimately securing justice via the largest possible financial damages award for you.

DLG’s sexual abuse attorneys are more than prepared to help survivors of sexual assault who are ready to take legal action against the perpetrator of their harm and trauma. At DLG, we ensure that survivors are taken care of both legally and emotionally. We are available seven days a week to take your call and answer any questions about sexual abuse cases in California. To speak with a Los Angeles sexual abuse attorney, sexual assault lawyer, or sexual harassment lawyer at DLG about your case, please call us at 800-880-7777 or fill out our case evaluation form.

What is The Catholic Church Doing About Sexual Abuse?

What is The Catholic Church Doing About Sexual Abuse?

Academic scholars, victim advocates, and sexual abuse attorneys have declared the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis a case study in institutional failure. The Catholic Church says they are more committed than ever to the safety of children, citing the creation of mandatory reporting and zero-tolerance policies. They have also reportedly formed committees, and taken various initiatives to reiterate their efforts through background screening and Safe Environment training.

What the Catholic Church doesn’t tell you about their response to a veritable sexual abuse crisis that has led to an epidemic, however, is the extreme lengths they have gone to cover-up abuse allegations and protect their assets. And perhaps most disturbingly, the Catholic Church has quietly reinstated many suspended priests who have been investigated for molestation and abuse (even, in some cases, after paying out victims substantially through multi-million dollar civil lawsuit settlements).

Financial moves by the Catholic Church have included transferring assets into trusts, transferring property ownership to prevent bankruptcy (to pay abuse victims), and generally lessening their financial losses due to sex abuse claims. Bloomberg reported that when the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, it claimed not to own cemeteries, schools, and parishes within its territory, going so far as to visit every cemetery in the region and painting over the nameArchdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

If You Are a Victim of Catholic Church Sexual Abuse – We Are Here To Help

At Dordulian Law Group, we understand that coming forward to speak up after experiencing sexual abuse (especially years or even decades after the incident) is very difficult, and may generate emotions, feelings, and thoughts that have long been suppressed. We have established a unique SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) within our Sexual Assault Division, providing each of our clients with four tiers of support including access to an in-house, licensed clinical therapist with 15 years of experience. From your very first call to DLG, we will do everything we can to protect you from further trauma and provide you with the support you need. Your Los Angeles sex abuse lawyer and the entire team at Dordulian Law Group will protect your right to privacy and treat you with respect. Our goal is to help you heal and recover the maximum compensation you deserve. If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us today.

Some basic facts about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal
Some basic facts about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal:

  • The church has paid out more than $3 billion to settle sexual abuse claims and continues to pay out multi-million dollar settlements for child sex abuse victims.
  • Many dioceses around the country have filed for bankruptcy protection to cover legal fees and settlements due to sexual abuse accusations, including two in California: San Diego, CA (2/27/07), and Stockton, CA (01/15/14).
  • More than 6,800 U.S. Catholic priests have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.
  • There are at least 19,000 survivors of sexual abuse by U.S. Catholic priests.
  • 50% of survivors of Catholic Church abuse wait 20 years or longer to report the incident.

Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlements

For many Catholics, the problem with the institutional sex abuse of children in the church is twofold:

  1. The devastating, life-long impact on victims is heartbreaking.
  2. The Catholic Church handled the abuse abhorrently, failing to take action despite many opportunities, thereby continuing to allow children to be abused.

Among the more than $3 billion in settlements the Catholic Church has issued for abuse committed by its priests, some of the notable California settlements include:

  • August 2001: Together, the Los Angeles and Orange dioceses agreed to pay a $5.2 million settlement to five boys who claimed Msgr. Michael A. Harris molested them.
  • November 2003: The Diocese of Oakland agreed to pay a $1 million settlement to a man who claimed he was molested 20 years earlier. The priest, Father Robert Freitas, agreed to pay $16 million, although it was unclear if he had the ability to pay.
  • December 2004: The Diocese of Orange agreed to pay an $85 million settlement to 87 people who were abused by priests, including Father Siegfried Widera.
  • June 2005: The Diocese of Sacramento agreed to pay a $35 million settlement to 33 people who were abused by Rev. Mario Blanco between October 1969 to April 1973.
  • August 2005: The Diocese of Oakland agreed to pay a $56 million settlement to 56 victims of sex abuse
  • July 2007: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay a $660 million settlement to 508 people who were abused by 221 priests, brothers, lay teachers, and other church employees spanning seven decades.
  • September 2007: The Diocese of San Diego agreed to a $198 million settlement to settle 144 claims of abuse.
  • February 2014: The Los Angeles Archdiocese reached a $13 million settlement with 17 victims of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, a visiting priest from Mexico.
  • June 2019: The Diocese of Santa Rosa reached a $6.8 million settlement for two boys who were abused by Kevin Thorpe, a counselor at the Hannah Boys Center in Sonoma. The lawsuit alleged the school and its employees knew that Thorpe was sexually abusing children on school property and in his own home. The complaint further alleged that said employees ignored and covered up evidence related to the abuse.
  • January 2020: The Los Angeles Archdiocese reached a $1.9 million settlement with a 47-year-old man who was abused by Father Lawrence Lovell, convicted of child molestation in 2003 and sentenced to 14 years in prison. This case was the first case settled with a Catholic diocese in California since the passing of Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218), a significant law that expanded the time frame for filing sexual abuse claims.

The Long-Term Effects of Clergy Sexual Abuse

For a more comprehensive list of the numerous Catholic Church sexual abuse settlements in the U.S. and throughout the world, visit bishop-accountability.org/settlements.

Although many of the civil lawsuit settlements do not include an admission of guilt on the part of the church, it is clear that the involved dioceses believe the victims would be successful if the cases proceeded to jury trials. According to Bishop-Accountability.org’s diocese search, dozens of priests in Los Angeles have been convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to time in prison or mental hospitals.

Timeline of Major Events in the Catholic Church Sex Abuse Crisis

  • January 2002Boston Globe Publication: In January 2002, the Boston Globe published an article titled “Church allowed abuse by priest for years.” The article was the first in a spotlight series about former priest John J. Geoghan (who allegedly fondled or raped more than 130 people over a three-decade span), and the mishandling of abuse allegations in the Archdiocese of Boston. By 2004, the Boston Globe had published more than 800 articles on the abuse scandal. Their reporting was important because it sparked national attention, and compelling other news media outlets to begin investigating their local dioceses.
  • June 2002Dallas Charter and Norms: The Vatican instructed the U.S. Catholic Church to write binding laws to protect children, leading to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Adopted in Dallas in June 2002, the charter is widely known as the Dallas Charter and Norms. It required, among other things, that dioceses report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to the authorities. The charter was revised in 2005, 2011, and 2018.

Priest Reinstatements Since 2002

Priest Reinstatements Since 2002

A massive contradiction of the Catholic Church’s supposed zero-tolerance policy is its many reinstatements since the 2002 Dallas Charter, which claimed it would remove offenders from ministry. According to BishopAccountability.org, in some cases, reinstatements occurred without even interviewing victims/accusers. In other cases, although victims were paid out substantially in multi-million dollar settlements, priests were still reinstated. Such reinstatements are a key reason for why such rampant systemic abuse was able to continue for decades. Some examples of known predator priests who were reinstated include:

  • Rev. Alvaro GuichardReinstated by Archbishop John C. Favalora – Archdiocese of Miami FL: Guichard had previously been suspended for 15 months after two men claimed in civil lawsuits that he had molested them as children. He was reinstated by a church commission that found there was “no credibility” to the victims’ allegations.
  • Rev. William G. PooleReinstated by Bishop Ronald Gainer – Diocese of Lexington KY: Rev. William G. Poole was suspended in September 2002 after being accused of abusing a boy in 1972. His suspension was ended on December 24, 2003, despite the Covington diocese reaching a settlement with his accuser. He died on December 21, 2018.
  • Rev. Robert StrickerReinstated by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk – Archdiocese of Cincinnati, OH: In 1993, Rev. Robert Stricker was accused of abusing a Cincinnati boy in the 1950s. At the time, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati determined the allegations were unsubstantiated. Stricker was suspended in May 2008 after the same victim brought additional information to the archdiocese, which Bishop Pilarczyk said had “some semblance of truth.” Stricker was reinstated in July 2008 after a subsequent internal investigation determined the additional information could not be substantiated. He died on March 22, 2017.
  • Rev. James F. PowerReinstated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley – Archdiocese of Boston MA: In a 1993 complaint, Rev. James F. Power was accused of supplying a 13-year-old boy with alcohol, sodomizing, and fondling him during a 1980 trip to Acadia National Park. The $35 million lawsuit settled in 1996 for an undisclosed amount. Power was placed on administrative leave in February 2002 when church officials found his file during the Boston sex abuse scandal. A second allegation was made in October 2002. Power was reinstated on January 2, 2009, after the Archdiocese ruled it could not substantiate the allegations. He died August 14, 2015.
  • Rev. Eugene P. SullivanReinstated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley – Archdiocese of Boston MA: Sullivan was Superintendent of Archdiocesan Schools in Holbrook, MA, in the 1970s and ’80s. In 2004, he was accused in a lawsuit of fondling a 15-year-old in his car in 1977, along with allegations of abuse by two other priests. He was placed on administrative leave in January 2005 and reinstated in 2009 after a review board determined the allegation was unsubstantiated (despite the archdiocese paying the victim $475,000 in a settlement).
  • Rev. Chris BerbenaReinstated by Bishop Allen Vigneron – Diocese of Oakland: Franciscan Father Berbena was accused in 2004 of misconduct while serving in the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1980. After saying they could find no evidence of the abuse, Berbena was reinstated. His accuser was compensated in a settlement in 2006. After the settlement, the Diocese of Oakland again removed Berbena from active ministry. He was reinstated to active ministry again in February 2008.

If you believe you have a sexual abuse case and wish to pursue a claim, don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning expert attorneys online or by phone today.

References and Resources

For survivors of Catholic Church sexual abuse, it can be helpful to establish a support network and utilize available resources whenever possible. For DLG’s Catholic Church survivor clients, we have found the following references and resources can be somewhat helpful:

  • USCCB.org: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. One of their purposes is to unify, coordinate, encourage, promote, and carry on Catholic activities in the United States. Their publications make the argument that they have “done more to protect children than almost any other organization in the United States.”
  • BishopAccountability.org: A Massachusetts-based non-profit with the mission to “gather and make accessible all public information about the Catholic abuse crisis and the bishops’ role in it.”
  • Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) – A non-profit 501(c)3 foundation supporting survivors of clergy sex abuse. SNAP purports to be “the largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns, and others).”

If you are a survivor of Catholic Church abuse and would like to discuss pursuing a civil lawsuit to recover financial damages, or simply have questions regarding available resources, we are here for you. Contact a Dordulian Law Group Catholic Church abuse lawyer 24/7 through a free and confidential consultation.

How AB 218 Can Help California Catholic Church Sex Abuse Victims Now

California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) is a new law that took effect on January 1, 2020. The law is significant because it increases the statute of limitations for all survivors of childhood sexual abuse (whether by an individual or an institution) in two meaningful ways:

  • It permanently raises the statute of limitations to 40 years of age
  • It temporarily removes the statute of limitations entirely from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2022. This means that regardless of when the abuse occurred, survivors are eligible to file civil claims for financial compensation against perpetrators and their employing institutions. You may bring a claim even if the perpetrator is deceased.

Additionally, a provision for “treble damages” allows the court to triple the amount of damages to any survivor who proves that his or her sexual assault was the result of a cover-up. The legal term “cover-up” is defined in the Code of Civil Procedure 340.1(b)(2) as “a concerted effort to hide evidence relating to childhood sexual assault.”

If you were abused in an institutional setting, such as the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, the YMCA, a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall, a public or private school, or as part of a sports club, you may have a treble damages claim for compensation towards your physical and emotional trauma. If a cover-up occurred, DLG’s experienced team of sexual abuse lawyers will pursue a treble damages settlement on your behalf.

Get a Free Consultation Today with a Sex Abuse Lawyer at DLG

An estimated one-third of childhood sexual abuse survivors never disclose their abuse. With the passage of AB 218, from 2020 – 2022 California law permits survivors to pursue compensation in a civil suit, no matter when the abuse occurred. Even if abuse occurred decades ago, reporting it now can allow for healing, accountability, and potentially a better future with a semblance of healing and closure. Our Los Angeles sex abuse law firm has recovered more than $100 million for abuse and injury victims, and we are here to help you 24/7. Don’t let the AB 218 lookback window expire without filing your claim.

From the moment you contact an experienced member of the DLG SAJE (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) Team, you are provided with the utmost support and respect, ensuring you are never alone going forward in the legal process. And at DLG you never pay a dime up-front. Under our contingency fee agreement, we are only paid a percentage of the final financial damages award we recover by prevailing in your case. To speak with a member of our team, call us at (855) 804-9636 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case today.

How to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse Predators

How to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse Predators

Sexual abuse that occurs in childhood exploits and degrades some of the most vulnerable in our society, causing serious developmental problems that can last for a lifetime. The damage can manifest in many ways, affecting children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. We as a society have a responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse. Support services and policies to help children develop properly and lead normal lives are critical, as are social programs designed meet their basic emotional and physical needs. Public education and publicly funded research into the causes and prevention of child sexual abuse are also essential. Finally, we must use the legal system to seek justice and recover financial damages for victims of child sexual abuse.

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse of children involves exposing or subjecting a child to sexual contact or behavior that is inappropriate for their age. Such abuse can involve a variety of sexual acts including inappropriate or unwanted touching of the genitals, buttocks, or breasts. Child pornography and child prostitution, along with exposing children to adult pornography, exhibitionism, and lewd comments about sexual topics, are additional forms of child sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse is harmful in part because children cannot fully comprehend what they are experiencing or why they may be participating in such acts. They are not developmentally prepared to understand the magnitude and ramifications of sexual acts. As a result, they cannot legitimately give their consent to such behaviors. Predators take advantage of children’s innocence, encouraging or forcing them to do things they would not do if their minds were further developed and they were better educated.

Child Sexual Abuse Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, child sexual abuse is a significant public health problem that many children never report. The prevalence of child sexual abuse is therefore difficult to determine, and studies have reached somewhat different conclusions. Generally speaking, however, the following statistics are considered widely accepted:

  • About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys are sexually abused sometime during their childhood.
  • The vast majority (91%) of child sexual abuse is committed by someone familiar to the child rather than a stranger.
  • Child sexual abuse in the U.S. cost at least $9.3 billion in 2015, although because this crime is underreported, the true economic impact is probably much higher.
  • Another study found that at least 12-35% of women and 4-9% of men in the U.S. were sexually abused as children. This type of abuse can also be perpetrated by other children. Research indicates that about 39-40% of reported sexual assaults against children up to age 11 are committed by another juvenile.

    Warning Signs

    There are many warning signs that someone may be sexually abusing a child. Such signs can include instances where an adult:

    • extensively discusses children’s or teens’ sexual activities
    • masturbates excessively
    • discusses sexual fantasies that feature children
    • asks a child to keep secrets from other people
    • watches child pornography
    • asks adult sexual partners to dress or act like a child
    • spends an unusual amount of time with children or teens, without other adults present
    • associates children with sexual slang or pejorative terms

    It is important to note that sexual abusers of children do not always engage in these outward behaviors. Many are able to hide their crimes, in part by intimidating their victims into keeping the abuse a secret.

    Consequences

    The consequences of child sexual abuse are often severe and can be physical, emotional, and/or psychological. Physical harm can be hard to detect because most abusers avoid causing obvious physical injuries so that the abuse goes unnoticed. As a result, this crime is different from rape, which often involves force and physical injury. However, sexual abuse of children can sometimes produce physical injuries including:

    • bleeding from and/or discomfort in the genitals or rectum
    • difficulty and/or discomfort with urination or bowel movements
    • frequent headaches or stomachaches
    • sexually transmitted diseases

    It is uncommon for visible injuries to appear, although pregnancy can result from child sexual abuse.

    In addition to physical trauma, sexual abuse can produce behavioral and psychological changes in children such as:

    • aggressiveness
    • excessive shyness
    • loss of appetite
    • disrupted sleep
    • school delinquency
    • nightmares
    • an inability to concentrate
    • depression
    • lethargy

    These are just some of the short-term consequences of child sexual abuse. Over the long term, victims can develop clinical depression, low self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, and other problems that can severely affect their quality of life.

    What is California AB 218 and How Does it Affect Child Sexual Abuse Cases?

    California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218), passed in 2019, is landmark legislation that aims to help secure justice for childhood sexual abuse survivors. As of January 1, 2020, AB 218 temporarily removes the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases under the law’s three-year “lookback window.” This means that under AB 218, people who have survived childhood sexual abuse can bring a civil lawsuit to recover financial damages within three years of the bill’s passage, no matter when the crime was committed.

    However, childhood sexual abuse survivors need to be aware that the lookback window under AB 218 only extends through Dec. 31, 2022. On Jan. 1, 2023, the statute of limitations will be reinstated. After this happens, survivors who failed to pursue justice by filing a civil lawsuit for financial damages before 2023 may forfeit their legal options and be left without any recourse against their perpetrator(s).

    During the limited lookback window period under AB 218, childhood sexual abuse survivors have the chance to pursue treble damages in cases where they can prove that an individual or institution engaged in a cover-up of a crime. This provision is meant to severely punish individuals and institutions who have committed systemic sexual abuse against children, in many cases over the course of several decades. Under the law, if there is a cover-up surrounding your childhood sexual abuse case, you could be awarded triple financial damages for your civil lawsuit. In other words, if you were awarded a $10 million award for damages related to past childhood sexual abuse, you would actually receive $30 million under the treble damages clause.

    Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    Tips for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

    Fortunately, there are ways to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual abuse. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S., being actively involved in a child’s life can help adults perceive warning signs of sexual abuse early on so they can work to stop it and mitigate the damage. Children also should be encouraged to speak up if they believe something is wrong.

    According to RAINN, parents should:

    • Show interest in their children’s daily lives. Ask about what they do during the day, who they sit with at lunch, and what they do after school.
    • Get to know the people who influence their children. Find out who they spend time with, who their friends’ parents are, and what they think about their teammates and coaches.
    • Screen caregivers carefully. This includes, for example, babysitters and those in charge of after-school activities.
    • Talk about sexual violence portrayed and discussed in the media. Ask children whether they have ever heard about an act of sexual abuse happening to someone else, and what they would do if they found themselves in a compromising situation.
    • Teach children about boundaries. Clearly explain that no one – including relatives – has the right to touch their private parts or otherwise make them feel sexually uncomfortable.
    • Teach children how to talk about their bodies. Children should learn the correct names for all body parts at an early age, which will encourage them to speak up if something happens.
    • Make yourself available to talk AND listen. Let children know they can come to you without fear of punishment if they have questions or someone is making them uncomfortable.
    • Ask open-ended questions. Questions like “Is there anything else you want to talk about?” are more likely to prompt discussion than yes/no questions like “did you have a good time?”

    The Child Mind Institute has additional suggestions for parents and other adults that will help children acquire the skills they need to prevent sexual abuse. Adults should teach children that:

    Body secrets are potentially harmful. Most perpetrators of sexual assault encourage their victims not to tell anyone about the act of abuse. The abuser can accomplish this through guilt by telling the child that they won’t be able to see each other again if the secret is revealed. The threat could be more explicit. For example, the abuser can tell the child that if he or she says anything, the abuser will claim it was the child’s idea and the child will be punished. For these reasons, children should be instructed to inform a trusted adult if anyone tells them to keep a secret about their body.

    No one should take photos of their private parts. Child pornography has become a worldwide epidemic. Children should know that no one is allowed to take photos or videos of their genitals or other private body parts.

    They can get out of scary or uncomfortable situations. Some children find it hard to say “no” to adults or older friends. Teach them that they can always say they have to leave for some reason, such as to go to the bathroom, if they feel scared or uncomfortable.

    They will never be punished if they tell an adult a body secret. As previously mentioned, children often believe that if they voice their concerns, they will face some sort of punishment or recrimination. Child sexual abusers can take advantage of these fears to silence their victims. Children should be told that, regardless of the circumstances, they will never be disciplined for speaking up about body safety or body secrets.

    Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

    Older children can use a code word when they feel unsafe or want to be picked up. They can use this code word whenever necessary, such as when guests are visiting or they are sleeping at someone else’s house.

    A body touch might tickle or feel good. Discussions about “good” and “bad” touching can be confusing to children because even “bad” touching often feels good in some temporary instances. Use the term “secret touch,” which more accurately describes sexual abuse because it is usually committed in secret.

    Finally, tell children that these rules apply even with people they know and interact with regularly, including other children. Help them realize that not all “bad” people look like cartoon villains or people they see arrested on the news. A sexual predator or perpetrator may very well be someone a child loves or respects. When children are taught to establish and maintain proper physical boundaries, it reduces – but does not eliminate – the chances of being victimized by a sexual predator.

    Dordulian Law Group is the Leading California Firm for Sexual Abuse Survivors

    At Dordulian Law Group, our Sexual Abuse Justice Experts Team (SAJE) is here to help survivors pursue the justice and financial compensation they deserve. With the passage of AB 218, survivors have a new (albeit limited) opportunity to hold sexual abuse perpetrators accountable for their actions.

    We are here to answer any questions you have via a free, no obligation consultation. And, with our ‘no fee guarantee,’ you never have to worry about paying anything up front. If we do not recover a financial damages award, you pay nothing out of pocket. Our years of experience and proven track record – with a 98% success rate in sexual abuse cases and over $100 million recovered – is why clients continue to choose us for their legal needs.

    Contact us today online or call 800-880-7777.

    Top 10 Reasons People Do Not Report Sexual Abuse

    Top 10 Reasons People Do Not Report Sexual Abuse

    The #MeToo movement and several major institutional sex abuse cases have inspired survivors to summon the courage required to step forward after experiencing horrific trauma. In 2020, employers, schools, law enforcement, and victim advocates are recognizing the prevalence of sexual abuse and finally listening to survivors (though there is, of course, much improvement yet to be made). The state of California is also offering an avenue to child sexual abuse survivors who were harmed decades ago through landmark legislation known as AB 218. This new bill allows survivors an opportunity to pursue compensation and justice regardless of when the abuse occurred. But even with the progress that has been made in recent years related to sexual abuse reporting, much work remains.

    Why is Sexual Abuse So Rarely Reported?

    Why do so many people not report sexual abuse? The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) indicates that people rarely lie about being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, or raped. However, many survivors decide to not report abuse to law enforcement. Some reasons for not reporting abuse are fear-based, and some are more personal. Some survivors simply do not believe there will be any benefit to reporting abuse. Furthermore, some may not understand their options and that they are entitled to pursue a civil claim seeking financial damages.

    If you contact the Glendale, CA, sexual abuse lawyers at Dordulian Law Group about a sex crime case, we will listen to you, we will believe you, and we will fight to secure you justice. We are dedicated advocates for sexual abuse survivors and have successfully handled countless civil cases. We will do everything in our power to gather documentation, evidence, and witnesses to successfully represent you and help you win your claim.

    What Percentage of Sexual Abuse is Not Reported?

    What Percentage of Sexual Abuse is Not Reported?
    It is impossible to accurately gauge the percentage of sexual abuse that is not reported. The NSVRC says an estimated 63% of sexual assaults go unreported. Some other sources cite lower numbers. An older source from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 15.8 to 35% of all sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

    The relationship between the victim and their accuser often determines the likelihood of reporting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, abuse or assault is:

    • least likely to be reported if the offender is a current intimate partner or former partner (only 25% of assaults reported to police)
    • less likely to be reported if the offender is an acquaintance or friend (only 18 to 40% of assaults reported to police)
    • most likely to be reported if the offender is a stranger (between 46 and 66% of assaults reported to police)

    Some survivors feel frozen after experiencing abuse and are terrified to contact the police. For other survivors, the decision to not report is initially just a matter of delaying or procrastinating, as many require time to process their feelings following an assault. As time passes, however, they can grow increasingly reluctant to ever address the incident. Eventually, some decide to move on and never report the abuse. Below are some of the reasons why people delay coming forward or never disclose after sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual violence:

    1. Fear of retaliation: Fear of retaliation can include physical abuse, like if a woman is afraid of being physically beaten by a former intimate partner. In a workplace situation, fear of retaliation can be a fear of being demoted, of being denied a promotion, or of being fired. Retaliation is also a huge fear among military sexual assault victims. According to Human Rights Watch, 62% of military service members who experienced unwanted sexual contact and reported it to a military authority faced retaliation due to reporting.
    2. Shame: Abuse is a humiliating and dehumanizing experience. Many survivors of abuse blame themselves, incorrectly believing distorted stereotypes that insinuate a victim somehow deserves blame based on what they were wearing or what they had to drink. This is an absolutely absurd line of reasoning. People dress to feel comfortable or attractive, not to invite unwanted sexual acts. If someone is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and unable to consent, it is a crime to engage in a sexual act with them. No one ever asks to be sexually assaulted. Additionally, for boys and men who are sexually assaulted, feelings of powerlessness and humiliation can be overpowering and have lifelong psychological effects.
    3. Reported an incident to an official who did nothing: Sadly, as is all too common, survivors who previously reported sexual abuse to an individual or authority and no action to take the report seriously was made may feel they have nowhere to turn. A school counselor may downplay violence with an antiquated comment like “boys will be boys.” Deciding to report to law enforcement is entirely your decision, and should not be influenced by anyone else’s comments or opinions. Many survivors who report abuse feel they are able to gain a sense of control over such a harrowing situation, and that newfound control can be helpful in the recovery process. This may also be an avenue to filing a civil claim for sexual abuse (all California residents who are victims of sexual abuse may file both criminal and civil lawsuits against their perpetrators), which is especially important in situations where an institution employed the perpetrator. If you are looking to report abuse, call a DLG SAJE Team member directly at 800-880-7777, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). In most areas, law enforcement officers trained to interact with sexual assault survivors are available.
    4. Not significant enough to report: People may not report sexual abuse if the act has been downplayed or minimized, with many survivors reported they were coerced into believing “nothing actually happened.” Force may not always be physical; it may be threatening to hurt someone for not participating in a sexual act. Without proof, this may feel insignificant. However, unless someone is a law enforcement officer, attorney, or judge, they may not be qualified to determine what is “nothing” and what is a legitimate misdemeanor or felony. One survey published in NPR found that just 20% of college campus sexual assault survivors actually reported to the police. Of those, 12% who were student victims indicated they thought the incident was “not important enough to report.”
    5. Belief that the police could/would not do anything to help: Survivors may not report abuse because they do not feel there will be a benefit. If they do not believe the police can or will do anything to help, they may see reporting abuse as a waste of time, energy, and emotions. This can happen when people see other survivors receive no help from law enforcement. At DLG, we have multiple former law enforcement officials on our Dordulian Law Group SAJE Team staff (including Samuel Dordulian, former Deputy District Attorney for LA County and sex crimes prosecutor, and Moses Castillo, former sex crimes division detective with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Together, they ensure each and every survivor’s case is handled discreetly, strategically, and professionally.
    6. Did not want to get offender in trouble with the law: An estimated seven percent of sexual abuse survivors do not want the offender to get in trouble with the law. This can be in an intimate partner violence situation where one fears the loss of financial support. Survivors may not report abuse if they cared about their abuser and are conflicted about the justification for criminal charges. If the violence resulted from a fight, the survivor may feel they contributed in some way.
    7. Did not want family or friends to know: For some families/cultures, discussing sexuality can be extremely difficult. Teenagers may fear punishment from parents for breaking the rules or being outcast by their social group, especially if the perpetrator is well liked by others. Parents who are not immediately told about abuse may feel betrayed to learn, often years later, that they were not trusted as confidants, which often creates challenges to a parent-child relationship.
    8. Fear of the justice system: Fears about the effectiveness of the criminal justice system are not unfounded. According to RAINN, out of every 1,000 rapes, only six rapists will ever spend a day in jail. These statistics do not instill confidence in the justice system. For more on sexual battery and sexual assault, and how they can be charged either as a misdemeanor or felony, see our recent blog post, Types of Sexual Assault Laws in California.
    9. Feel the crime was not “serious enough”/ fear of lack of evidence: Unless you are a lawyer, you are not in a position to determine if evidence is “good enough.” That’s why it’s so important to contact a DLG sexual abuse attorney immediately after the crime. We will present you with all available options and answer any questions you have. It is also possible that your partial testimony may be corroborated by someone who witnessed and reported the crime, or that the perpetrator is being investigated for another, similar crime. If you decide to pursue a civil claim, your act of reporting the abuse to law enforcement is evidence by itself.
    10. Feel that too much time has passed: Some survivors may resign themselves to the notion of keeping the abuse a secret forever because they believe it’s too late for any justice to be had. They may regret not reporting the abuse when it first happened, but feel there would be no benefit in doing so now (what, in many cases, is years afterward). However, Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) is California’s answer to any “it’s too late” rationale ever used to justify delaying a report of abuse. The state has recognized it can take survivors many years to come forward, and AB 218 encourages everyone affected by sexual abuse to do so now via a truly rare opportunity removing the statute of limitations.

    California’s AB 218: Why Now Is The Critical Time To Consider Reporting Abuse

    Under AB 218, from January 1, 2020, until December 31, 2022, Californians have a three-year lookback window to file a civil claim for sexual abuse. During that three-year limited lookback window period, the statute of limitations is removed. Anyone with a previously expired claim may now come forward and file a civil lawsuit, no matter how many years ago the abuse occurred. This law has been highly praised by victim advocacy groups like the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). DLG’s Founder, Samuel Dordulian, has said that AB 218 is like a “time machine,” providing an opportunity for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to obtain justice. For more information about AB 218, subscribe to DLG’s YouTube Channel.

    Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    What is Institutional Sexual Abuse?

    Institutional sex crimes entail abuse, assault, or violence in an institutional setting with some level of involvement or supervision by a third party. Unlike intimate partner violence or parent/step-parent violence, the perpetrator may be an employee, agent, contractor, or even a volunteer of an institution. The abuse may occur in a school, camp, church, nursing home, foster home, rehab center, medical facility, or government agency. In many institutional abuse cases, the perpetrator and victim knew each other, and a level of familiarity or trust existed prior to the abuse occurring. The perpetrator may even “groom” the victim and their family members, working to make them feel special, developing a bond, and gaining the family’s trust to allow them to spend time alone with the victim.

    Dordulian Law Group Is Here To Help Sexual Abuse Survivors

    At Dordulian Law Group, we understand it takes tremendous courage to come forward after sexual abuse, whether the act happened yesterday or 30 years ago. Survivors may be uncertain about coming forward after an extended period of time because they may not remember all the details. At DLG, we understand the challenges of working on long-delayed cases, and we are proud to work with one of the best investigators in the nation, former LAPD sex crimes unit leader, Detective Moses Castillo. We also offer privacy, discretion, and confidentiality for all, as our entire process is designed with our clients’ experience in mind. We know it can be extremely difficult to discuss details of traumatic events, and talking to a lawyer can sometimes seem frightening. Our clients benefit from four tiers of advocacy and support, known among our clients as our Sexual Assault Justice Experts (SAJE) Team:

    1. Investigation Lead: Former Decorated L.A.P.D. Sex Crimes Unit Leader, Detective Moses Castillo
    2. Case Lead: Former Deputy District Attorney for LA County and sex crimes prosecutor, Samuel Dordulian
    3. Advocate Lead: Our Licensed Clinical Therapist with 15 Years of Experience Helping Sexual Assault Survivors
    4. Support Lead: Two Dedicated Victim Advocates Addressing All Needs of Survivors

    We have recovered over $100 million for our clients and have helped more than 1,000 victims. Compensation for our clients provides a modicum of healing and a better future. However, our success is not just about recovering financial damages. We make strong statements to organizations, corporations, and agencies by holding them accountable. This leads to better policies, procedures, and experiences for future generations. See our case results and client testimonials to read about our clients’ experiences.

    Never a Fee Unless We Win

    We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we are only paid after a verdict or settlement is reached. There are never any upfront fees, and we are only paid if we recover money for you. A contingency fee arrangement allows survivors to hire an experienced and dedicated DLG attorney with no risk and no financial burden out of pocket.

    Our expert team of attorneys can help sexual abuse victims secure financial damages. Contact our top-rated lawyers online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    Get a Free Consultation Today

    People who decide not to report abuse often do so for a combination of reasons, whether misperceptions about available options and legal recourse, doubt in the legal system, or fear of repercussions from perpetrators. When survivors eventually do come forward and report abuse, the DLG SAJE Team has historically witnessed that finding the courage to take that first step is a decision proving to be profoundly beneficial on a number of levels. Moreover, survivors often report that the reasons for delaying or waiting were, in hindsight, actually not nearly as significant as they once assumed.

    What is most important is that survivors come forward when they are ready, on their own terms. As sexual assault attorneys, we are prepared to help you, whenever that day may eventually come. Once you call DLG, you will never again be alone throughout the legal process and beyond. When we take on a sexual abuse case for a survivor client, we view that individual as a member of our extended family, and our support and continued availability continues forever, even after you’ve won your case. We are here seven days a week to take your call and answer any questions about your California sexual abuse case. To speak with a Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyer at DLG about your situation, call us at 800-880-7777 or fill out our case evaluation form.

    How Car Accidents and Personal Injury Cases Affect Your Auto Insurance Premiums

    How Car Accidents and Personal Injury Cases Affect Your Auto Insurance Premiums

    Most auto insurance companies are household names due to their massive advertising campaigns. You’re probably well aware of characters such as Progressive’s Flo, GEICO’s Gecko, NBA player Chris Paul’s State Farm alter ego, and the Limu Emu. The insurance industry is hypercompetitive, fighting for your auto insurance premium payments while hoping you’ll never be involved in a car accident. In 2019, the three biggest insurance companies (State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive) spent a combined $4.81 billion in advertising trying to convince millions of us that they were the best choice for our auto insurance needs.

    Choosing the Best Auto Insurance In 2020: Facts, Statistics, and Insurance Company Rankings

    The average U.S. driver in 2020 pays $1,548 per year in auto insurance premiums, according to the Zebra, an insurance comparison website. California ranks among the 10 most expensive states for car insurance, with the average annual premium of approximately $1,868. Unlike other bills and expenses where choices for service providers are limited, there are literally dozens of options for your automobile insurance carrier. So, how do you choose the best company? Is the lowest auto insurance premium available always the best policy choice for you?

    Personal injury attorneys can provide car insurance shoppers unique perspectives and opinions on auto insurance choices, having had to navigate negotiations and lawsuits with virtually every insurance company at one point or another. At Dordulian Law Group, we have witnessed firsthand the notorious delay, deny, and defend tactics these companies use to protect their bottom lines. We’ve also seen insurance companies arbitrarily treat one policyholder with more respect than another, offering fairer settlements to select individuals with seemingly identical cases. Our extensive experience with auto insurance companies is based on years of interaction and communication through demand letters, negotiations, litigations, and settlements.

    Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

    The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Dordulian Law Group are here to answer any questions about your insurance company negotiations and help you in the unfortunate event of an accident. We know how traumatic and stressful car accident injuries can be, and the difficulty involved in communicating with insurance companies in the aftermath. For additional in-depth information on this subject, please view our California Car Accident Settlement Guide, contact us online, or call us at 800-880-7777 with any questions.

    Which Auto Insurance Company Should You Choose?

    When shopping for an auto insurance company, it’s essential to consider more than the price of the premium and cost of the deductible. You must also consider the amount of coverage, and how your company will handle your claim if you’re in an unfortunate accident. Until you actually file a claim with your auto insurer, your only experience with that company and the customer service they provide will likely be the time you initially negotiate the price of the premium and secure your policy. According to J.D. Power, loyalty to carriers is heavily influenced by claims handling. You have no way of knowing how much money will be offered for your injury claim, so it’s always valuable to consider customer satisfaction rankings.

    Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies by Premiums Written

    Below are the top 10 auto insurance companies by premiums written, compromising 72% of the market share. Value Penguin’s proprietary rating measures both cost and customer service. JD Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study rankings are based on surveys of customers’ perceptions of their insurer’s performance throughout the entire claims experience (i.e. from first notice of loss through the repair and delivery of their vehicle or settlement of a total loss).

    State Farm:

    • 17% of market share
    • $42 billion in premiums written.
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3.5/5

    GEICO

      :

    • 13% of market share
    • $33.1 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 4/5

    Progressive:

    • 11% of market share
    • $27.1 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3/5

    Allstate:

    • 9% of market share
    • $22.7 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3/5

    USAA:

    • 6% of market share
    • $14.5 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 4/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 4.5/5

    Liberty Mutual:

    • 5% of market share
    • $11.8 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3.5/5

    Farmers:

    • 4% of market share
    • $10.5 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 4/5

    Nationwide:

    • 3% of market share
    • $6.7 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 2/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3.5/5

    Travelers:

    • 2% of market share
    • $4.7 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 3/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3.5/5

    American Family:

    • 2% of market share
    • $4.7 billion in premiums written
    • JD Power Rating: 4/5
    • Value Penguin Rating: 3.5/5

    How Much Auto Insurance Do You Need?

    Car insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. Just because you have insurance with a particular company (even a “good” or “highly-rated” company), does not mean you have sufficient coverage that extends to your needs. A minimum amount of auto insurance is required in California in order to register a car. This is often referred to as 15/30/5 insurance, and is required under California Insurance Code §11580.1b. California minimum auto insurance coverage requirements include:

    • Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident minimum
    • Property damage liability coverage: $5,000 minimum

    Purchasing the bare minimum auto insurance required by law will only save you money if you never get into an accident (regardless of whether you’re the at-fault driver or another individual is responsible). Most insurance companies and attorneys recommend, at the very least, 100/300/50 coverage instead of state minimum automobile insurance coverage amounts. That’s $100,000 per person for injuries not to exceed $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 for property damage. If you are shopping for an insurance policy, consider the 100/300/50 ratio a good starting point.

    Do You Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

    Do You Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance?

    Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and underinsured motorist (UIM) are valuable “extra” coverage options that your car insurance company must offer you. These options are an added measure of providing coverage to you and others in your vehicle if you are in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to pay for the damage. Considering an estimated one in eight drivers on the road does not have auto insurance (or adequate insurance minimums), there is always a chance you will be involved in an accident with someone who does not carry adequate insurance. The minimum required auto insurance coverage amount is $30,000 per accident. If your entire family was involved in an accident requiring hospitalization, the costs for medical care could easily exceed policy limits. Without UIM coverage, you could incur significant medical debt, even if the accident was not your fault.

    Contact our top-rated team of expert auto accident attorneys online or by phone today to pursue justice and secure a financial award for damages.

    Which Is More Important: Best Protection or Lowest Cost?

    Unlike many other states, California cannot factor your credit score into the cost of your insurance coverage. If you fill out an auto insurance coverage calculator quiz, you may be asked about what is most important to you when shopping for coverage: the lowest cost, the best protection, or some combination of low cost and good protection. If you are trying to eliminate monthly expenses, you may prioritize lower cost and monthly premiums. Shopping for the lowest premiums may mean only buying liability coverage, which compensates a person other than the policyholder for personal injury or property damage. However, although this reduces your monthly expense, it can leave you in a vulnerable position.

    As personal injury lawyers, it is devastating to have to tell people who are injured in car accidents – sometimes catastrophically – that they do not have enough coverage to compensate themselves or their family members following an accident. Minimum policy coverage in wrongful death claims is especially heartbreaking. To avoid a catastrophic insurance scenario, we always recommend having a sufficient amount of UMBI/UIM insurance to cover you and your loved ones. As far as “sufficient,” this essentially refers to a figure that equals the greatest amount you are able to afford. You simply cannot count on other drivers on the road being equipped to protect you and your family (and, if you drive in Los Angeles, you know this statement is absolutely true).

    If You Have Questions Or Concerns About Your Insurance Claim

    Although the California insurance code states that “No insurer shall attempt to settle a claim by making a settlement offer that is unreasonably low,” in practice, auto insurance companies do exactly that each and every day. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) advises anyone with a serious concern regarding how a claim is being handled to contact the local state insurance commissioner. If you are unsure if an insurance company offer is fair, an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at DLG can review your offer and provide you with guidance and advice that will help you make the best decision for your specific situation. In many scenarios, a car insurance company will offer a lower amount than what is fair – what you’re actually entitled to receive – while insisting the offer is the highest and best available. You do not need to wait until you have an offer from insurance company to contact a car accident lawyer at DLG. In fact, rather than dealing directly with the insurance company, waiting for their “best and fairest” settlement offer, you should contact an experienced DLG car accident lawyer immediately to ensure you have a dedicated advocate fighting aggressively on your behalf and ensuring you are never taken advantage of by insurance company adjusters whose only focus is the company bottom line and sustaining profits for shareholders.

    Do You Need a Lawyer For Your Insurance Claim?

    Do You Need a Lawyer For Your Insurance Claim?
    In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need a personal injury lawyer to handle a car accident personal injury claim. Insurance companies would like you to believe they will fairly resolve a claim and look out for your best interests. If that were true, personal injury lawyers like the experienced, top-rated, and proven car accident specialists at DLG would not be helping hundreds of car accident victims every year. In reality, reasonable and fair insurance settlements are not automatic, and almost always involve an arduous and stressful fight. You and the auto insurance company both have a mutual interest in resolving the claim quickly, but the insurance company’s idea of what is a fair settlement will be based on protecting their bottom line. That “fair settlement” figure does not take into account your injuries, future medical needs, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. That’s where DLG is here to help, and our proven track record of recovering over $100 million for our clients speaks volumes.

    Our experienced attorneys can help you pursue a financial award for your personal injury case. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    Insurance adjusters will appear friendly and sympathetic to your stress and difficulties over the phone. They will use the guise of being caring and concerned to get you to open up and disclose potentially damaging details. Any statements you make about your injuries will be used to downplay the value of your claim. No matter how empathetic, compassionate, or friendly an insurance adjuster may seem, he or she is not your friend and does not have your best interest in mind. Do not provide a recorded statement, do not speculate on who was at fault in a crash, and do not discuss the severity of your injuries. The sooner you speak with an experienced car accident personal injury lawyer at Dordulian Law Group, the sooner we can help you protect your legal rights and recover the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.

    When Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

    After any collision where an injury – even one that is minor and will ostensibly heal on its own – occurs, it is never too soon to contact a personal injury lawyer. The sooner you contact a DLG car accident attorney, the sooner recollections can be documented and evidence can be preserved. Remember that just because you have insurance coverage the insurance company will NOT automatically make policy coverage funds available to you as the policyholder. Auto insurance claims are business transactions, and should always be viewed as such. A settlement will almost always need to be negotiated, and for that to occur without you being taken advantage of, or having your rights trampled, you need a seasoned, experienced, and dedicated car accident lawyer at DLG fighting on your side. A car accident lawyer at DLG can help you maximize the value of your claim by fighting for fair compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages.

    Get a Free Los Angeles Car Accident Case Evaluation Today

    At DLG, we handle car accident personal injury claims under contingency fee arrangements. We are paid a percentage of the value of the prevailing settlement. If you hire us and we do not recover a settlement or verdict, you will owe nothing. If you don’t win, you do not pay.

    We have over two decades of experience handling auto accident insurance claims and have recovered over $100 million for our clients. We are proud to fight for our clients’ interests and advocate for their rights each and every day. Call DLG now to speak with an attorney about your car accident insurance claim today.

    Californians Provided Additional COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Protections

    What Should I Do If I am a Worker Impacted by COVID-19?

    A new bill signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom relaxes the burden of proof required to receive workers’ compensation benefits for select essential employees who contract COVID-19 on the job. Senate Bill 1159 (SB 1159) allows for police, firefighters, and other essential employees who contract COVID-19 while working to be covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program.

    SB 1159 codifies the governor’s May executive order which expanded COVID-19 protections for any employees required to work outside the home by providing the presumption that they contracted the virus at work. That executive order expired on July 5, but SB 1159 is retroactive and extends until January 1, 2023. As a result, essential workers infected by COVID-19 are now covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program through the end of 2022.

    SB 1159 was passed as an urgency bill, making it effective immediately (most laws are not made official until the following year).

    DLG’s Founder and President, Samuel Dordulian, applauded the governor’s action to help California workers. “It’s a critical step that will provide necessary protections to our essential workers while also helping the state’s economy recover,” he said.

    DLG’s state-certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, Charles Rondeau, called SB 1159 a “definite win” for California workers. “It may seem like common sense, but these protections aren’t being extended in a number of states,” he said. “This was the right thing to do, and I hope it persuades other states to follow California’s lead.

    What Does SB 1159 Mean for COVID-19 Infected Workers?

    SB 1159 ensures workers who contract the coronavirus are eligible to receive five basic financial benefits including (when applicable):

    • Medical benefits: Payments for medical bills and any necessary care to help you recover from COVID-19
    • Temporary disability benefits: Payments for lost wages resulting from a COVID-19 injury that prevents you from working
    • Permanent disability benefits: Payments if you don’t recover completely from COVID-19 and are unable to work in the future
    • Supplemental job displacement benefits: Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement that may be required if you don’t recover completely from COVID-19 and are therefore unable to continue working for your current employer
    • Death benefits: Payments to your spouse, children, or other dependents following death related to a COVID-19 infection

    The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Newsom believes the new law emphasizes the need to “prioritize our workforce, our workers, our frontline essential workforce that we pay a lot of lip service to but, often, we don’t back up.”

    If you’ve been injured at work, contact our certified workers’ compensation specialists online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    The report from the Times also included the following facts regarding the state’s workers’ compensation system:

    • California’s workers’ compensation system pays employees who have suffered an injury or illness on the job, regardless of who is at fault.
    • The state’s 100-year-old workers’ compensation insurance system relies on nearly 700,000 businesses covered by 200 insurance companies to pay for medical care and wage replacement when employees are injured while working.
    • Some 800,000 workers receive benefits from the program each year, according to a 2020 report from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.
    • There have been more than 40,436 claims filed so far this year by workers who said they contracted COVID-19 on the job. Of those, 11,186 have been rejected, with most denials attributed to a negative COVID-19 test.
    • The number of workers’ compensation claims for the coronavirus jumped from 4,790 in May to 11,271 in June, and to 12,889 in July, according to the Department of Industrial Relations.
    • The workers’ comp rating bureau estimated that COVID-19 claims will cost employers and insurers around $2 billion. The bureau estimated in May that the average claim paid would be $29,000.

    Under SB 1159, employees will be presumed to have contracted COVID-19 on the job if there was an outbreak at their workplace. The new law defines an outbreak as either:

    1. An incident where five or more employees contract the virus within a 14-day period at a workplace with between five and 100 employees
    2. An incident where 5% of employees contract the virus in that period at a workplace with more than 100 employees

    California Assembly Bill 685 Under COVID-19

    Governor Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 685. AB 685 will require employers to provide written notice to workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 while also informing local public health officials. AB 685 extends authority to state regulators over the next two years, allowing them to penalize business owners for any workplace violations.

    What Should I Do If I am a Worker Impacted by COVID-19?

    Contacting a DLG lawyer is the first step to protecting your rights and securing the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. At DLG, we are fierce advocates who fight for workers every step of the way. Whether you’re filing a new COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim or wish to appeal a previous claim denial, we are here to help.

    California workers consistently choose Dordulian Law Group over any other Los Angeles workers’ compensation firm because of our decades of experience and record of success. Regardless of what your claim entails, we have the knowledge, experience, and dedication necessary to help you achieve the best possible outcome and secure the largest workers’ compensation benefits package available.

    Our expert team of attorneys can help workers’ compensation victims secure financial damages. Contact our top-rated lawyers online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    Dordulian Law Group’s COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Division

    Dordulian Law Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division is headed by Charles Rondeau. Mr. Rondeau is a seasoned attorney who holds the prestigious and extremely rare (less than 2% of California attorneys) qualification of Workers’ Compensation Law Specialist.

    Mr. Rondeau has been fighting on behalf of workers for over 20 years, helping them secure the financial benefits they deserve. He leads an experienced team of DLG workers’ compensation professionals who together deliver outstanding representation to injured workers throughout California. Dordulian Law Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division provides every client, spanning all industries and job types, with unparalleled service and support.

    Contact us today to arrange a free consultation. We are here to answer all your questions and help you win your California COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim.

    How DLG is Helping Boy Scout Abuse Survivors Secure Justice

    What You Need to Know About Filing a Claim Against Boy Scouts of America

    At DLG, we have been dedicated to helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse secure the justice they deserve for over 20 years. In that time we’ve successfully taken on some of the nation’s largest institutions that have engaged in horrific abuse of children, often at a systemic level, including decades widespread cover-ups.

    Currently we are involved in multiple cases against such an institution: Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

    Last year court testimony revealed that BSA maintained internal files on suspected pedophiles. A child sex abuse expert and professor from the University of Virginia, Janet Warren, was hired by BSA to review records from the organization’s “volunteer screening database.” Her investigation uncovered troubling figures:

    • The organization believed more than 7,800 of its former leaders were “perpetrators” involved in sexual abuse
    • These leaders sexually abused more than 12,000 children over the course of 72 years

    Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert child sex abuse attorneys.

    Evidence of the organization’s failure to act, despite knowing of such prevalent sexual abuse, can be found as early as 1935, when a New York Times article reported that the organization described having files on hundreds of scout leaders who had been labeled “degenerates.”

    We are committed to helping all survivors of BSA abuse obtain justice.

    What You Need to Know About Filing a Claim Against Boy Scouts of America

    Facing over $150 million in outstanding settlements with alleged childhood sexual abuse survivors, the Boy Scouts of America national organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February. The bankruptcy court has set up a mass tort fund to help compensate survivors, but they have also established a deadline that will likely freeze the number of lawsuits against the organization. If survivors do not file a claim by the deadline – November 16, 2020 – the bankruptcy court may determine that future claims be barred, leaving survivors without options and never having their day in court.

    We encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse by a Boy Scout leader or headmaster to contact us immediately so we may help ensure your claim is filed promptly, meeting all necessary deadlines and preserving your chance at justice.

    To reiterate:

    • The Boy Scouts of America national organization has filed for bankruptcy.
    • A fund has been established to help survivors recover financial damages awards.
    • The deadline for filing your claim to receive compensation is November 16, 2020.

    How We Are Helping Survivors Recover Financial Damages Awards

    If you are a survivor of Boy Scout abuse, filing a claim with the bankruptcy court is the best option for securing a prompt financial damages award. However, there are additional options that we at DLG are pursuing for our Boy Scout abuse survivor clients.

    For example, under California’s AB 218 law, the stature of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims is currently removed under what’s known as the bill’s limited three-year “lookback window” clause. Under AB 218, we are able to pursue financial damages awards from local BSA chapters and sponsoring organizations, in addition to filing a claim in bankruptcy court. As those organizations are not part of the bankruptcy proceedings, this means that we will fight to recover additional financial damages for all BSA survivors.

    What should I expect from my Boy Scouts Lawsuit

    By contacting DLG today to file a claim you will help ensure that:

    • Your claim is filed timely in bankruptcy court, meeting all deadlines
    • Additional claims are filed against any relevant local BSA chapters or sponsoring organizations
    • You ultimately receive the maximum financial damages award available under the law

    Our Sexual Assault Justice Experts are here to help survivors secure justice. Contact our top-rated attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

    Why DLG is the Best Choice for Survivors of Boy Scout Abuse

    At DLG, we offer survivors a unique type of all-encompassing representation. When you choose DLG to handle your BSA abuse claim, you are not represented by an individual attorney. Rather, you have a team of Sexual Abuse Justice Experts (SAJE) in place to provide you with four tiers of representation:

    The Four Tiers of DLG SAJE Team Representation:

    1. Case Lead: Samuel Dordulian, former Deputy District Attorney and sex crimes prosecutor for Los Angeles County
    2. Investigation Lead: Detective Moses Castillo, former 30-year LAPD sex crimes unit leader in the city’s elite Juvenile Division for Abused Children
    3. Support Lead: A licensed clinical therapist with 15 years of experience helping sexual abuse survivors
    4. Advocate Lead: Two in-house, licensed, and nationally accredited victim advocates who have decades of experience passionately advocating on behalf of survivors

    Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Lawsuit: Do You Have a Claim?

    The DLG Advantage: Our Experience and Dedication

    DLG was founded by Samuel Dordulian, a former Deputy District Attorney and sex crimes prosecutor for Los Angeles County. Together with Moses Castillo, DLG’s Chief Investigator and a retired LAPD sex crimes detective, Dordulian works tirelessly to ensure survivors of sexual abuse receive the justice they deserve. With a combined 50 years of experience, Dordulian and Castillo provide survivors with peace of mind and the confidence that their case will be investigated and litigated properly.

    We are fierce advocates for survivors victimized by institutions like BSA, which allowed such despicable criminal behavior to take place under their watch for decades. We understand that your case is unique, and must be handled as such. Choosing DLG means that you have a staunchly motivated ally fighting in your corner, working to guarantee that all guilty parties are held accountable.

    Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

    This applies to any individual who may have harmed you, but also to specific institutions that have a notorious history of overlooking abuse. We want you to be certain that with each case we accept, justice will be served to the fullest extent of the law. We are adamant that nobody, regardless of how ostensibly significant or influential they may seem, is above the law.

    For many survivors, the pursuit towards obtaining justice and possibly finding closure has been a long and difficult journey. At Dordulian Law Group, we’re here to ensure that your journey concludes with a fair and just resolution.

    Contact us today for a free consultation via 800-880-7777. We are here to answer any questions you have 24/7. Do not let the November 16, 2020 deadline pass without filing your claim.

    Gucci Heiress’ Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Under California AB 218

    The Gucci Heir Alleges Sexual Abuse by stepfather

    The granddaughter of Aldo Gucci – eldest son of the worldwide Gucci fashion brand’s founder – filed a civil lawsuit last week alleging her stepfather sexually abused her over a period of 16 years. The complaint, filed by Alexandra Zarini in Los Angeles Superior Court, describes years of sexual abuse by her former stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo. The suit also alleges complicity and a cover-up on the part of her mother, Patricia Gucci, and grandmother, Bruna Palombo. The complaint specifically cites Palombo’s knowledge of the alleged sexual assaults and instructions to her daughter, formerly Ruffalo’s husband, to “keep quiet and cover them up.

    The filing of the lawsuit coincided with an announcement of the heiress’ childhood sexual abuse survivor nonprofit, the Alexandra Gucci Children’s Foundation. Zarini’s attorney, Deborah Mallgrave, indicated that although her client expects to be disinherited from the family’s fortune, any financial award from the case would go towards the new nonprofit.

    “If you think this doesn’t happen here in Beverly Hills, then you should know that my perpetrator still lives in California, spends time at the Bel-Air Country Club, and volunteers in your children’s hospitals,” Zarini said via a video statement released by her legal team. “This is not something that only happens to other families, other neighborhoods, or other countries. It is everywhere.”

    Zarini alleges the abuse first occurred when she was six-years-old and continued until she was about 22. In a statement Patricia Gucci said she was “deeply sorry for the pain Ruffalo caused Alexandra,” though she denies the allegations against her and Palombo.

    What he did to her is inexcusable and I was devastated when she disclosed everything to me at our family doctor’s office in London in September 2007. I immediately initiated divorce proceedings against Mr. Ruffalo and set about healing my family through counseling.”

    Allegations within the complaint include:

    • Ruffalo regularly got into bed naked with Zarini, fondled her, and attempted to penetrate her with his hands.
    • Ruffalo exposed his genitals to Zarini and rubbed them against her.
    • Patricia Gucci hit and attempted to strangle her daughter on multiple occasions. Ruffalo would then “rescue” his stepdaughter and allegedly abuse her under the pretense of being her protector.

    Zarini alleges the abuse first occurred when she was six-years-old
    The Gucci case highlights the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse and its potential to impact any family, regardless of socioeconomic status or fame. Moreover, the case highlights the current opportunity for thousands of survivors of childhood sexual abuse to obtain justice under California’s AB 218 three-year “lookback window.”

    The AB 218 Lookback Window

    AB 218 includes a stipulation known as the three-year “lookback window” for previously time-barred claims. It provides virtually any victim of childhood sexual abuse the ability to file a civil lawsuit against their individual predator or at-fault institution within three years of the bill becoming law. It is a blanket window that is available only for a limited time – from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022 – and applies regardless of how long ago the crime occurred.

    AB 218 Child Sex Abuse Revival Window Deadline

    California AB 218, the landmark legislation which took effect in 2020, allows ALL survivors of childhood sexual abuse the opportunity to file a civil claim and obtain justice through financial compensation — regardless of how long ago the crime occurred. But AB 218’s three-year loopback window officially expires at the end of 2022, and survivors who haven’t filed a claim before that time will likely left without any future legal recourse. To speak with a child sexual abuse lawyer, contact us today at 818-322-4056.



    AB 218 and Treble Damages

    Zarini’s civil lawsuit is an example of a case that would otherwise have been barred under the statute of limitations, but is now possible under AB 218. Additionally, the case may be an example of how AB 218’s treble damages clause is applied.

    If, as the complaint alleges, a cover-up on the part of Zarini’s mother or grandmother is proven, she would be entitled to treble (triple) damages for any financial award. Treble damages is a term referring to a statute permitting a court to triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages to be awarded to a prevailing plaintiff.

    According to the lawsuit, both Patricia Gucci and Palombo “tried to avoid, at all costs, what they perceived would be a scandal that could tarnish the Gucci name and potentially cost them millions.” Palombo told her granddaughter that alerting authorities would be the “ultimate betrayal,” according to the court filing.

    Why DLG is the Most-Trusted Firm for California Sexual Abuse Survivors

    Dordulian Law Group features a team of sexual abuse justice experts (SAJE), providing survivors four tiers of all-encompassing representation.

    The Four Tiers of DLG SAJE Team Representation:

    1. Case Lead: Samuel Dordulian, former Deputy District Attorney and sex crimes prosecutor for Los Angeles County
    2. Investigation Lead: Detective Moses Castillo, former 30-year LAPD sex crimes unit leader in the city’s elite Juvenile Division for Abused Children
    3. Support Lead: A licensed clinical therapist with 15 years of experience helping sexual abuse survivors
    4. Advocate Lead: Two in-house, licensed, and nationally accredited victim advocates who have decades of experience passionately advocating on behalf of survivors

    File Your Civil Lawsuit Under AB 218 Now

    Don’t wait for the lookback window to expire. Under AB 218, the statute of limitations removal is only available for a limited time. Contact us today to setup a free consultation and speak with a member of the DLG SAJE Team about your case.