Coaches at all levels of sports spend numerous hours with their athletes. In some cases, coaches form friendly relationships with children and young people that carry beyond the boundaries of sports practice and events. Coaches occupy a strong position of authority over their athletes, and over time, the eventual victims of sexual abuse and molestation may not even question the inappropriate suggestions and requests that an abusive coach makes in private.
As an authority figure that a child depends on for his or her dreams of sporting successes, manipulation and influence may be easy for a coach to employ, and encouraging the use of drugs or alcohol may further reduce the inhibitions and judgment of children.
Some sports organizations and school districts fail to complete extensive background checks of all coaches, or they may cover up reports of abuse that should be reported to the police.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel | You Are Not Alone
If you or your child has been molested, or if you suspect abuse, we urge you to call our office at (510) 433-1000 to speak with a sexual abuse lawyer who litigates cases against coaches in Oakland and throughout California.
We offer free initial consultations, litigate all cases on a contingency fee basis and fully advance finance the costs of all cases we take on. At Winer, Burritt & Tillis LLP, our compassionate and skilled partner attorneys have more than 60 years of combined legal experience holding perpetrators of abuse accountable and bringing them to justice.
We aggressively pursue the damages our clients deserve and present straightforward legal options whether the abusive sexual conduct happened yesterday or several years earlier. We can independently investigate your case, work to find evidence and witness testimony, and collaborate with expert witnesses to establish the full and fair value of your case.
Time Is Of The Essence
If your case involves a public entity, it is critical to bring a claim within six months of the abusive act, or else your opportunity for compensation may be lost due to the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases. In any case, we make every effort to make viable the lawsuits of our clients. The late discovery doctrine, for example, allows the one- or two-year statute of limitations to not begin running until the plaintiff is aware that wrongful sexual conduct occurred and that he or she may have been injured by that conduct.
Teenage Girls Sexually Abused By Volleyball Coach
Two girls were sexually abused by their volleyball coach at school and on a private volleyball team. The volleyball coach, who befriended the girls, got them addicted to drugs and engaged in sexual relations with them for an extended period of time.
The coach was arrested after one of the plaintiffs reported his conduct to the police. He pled guilty to several felonies and was sentenced to a lengthy prison term. In the civil case, the defendants, which were the school and a private sports association, were negligent in failing to take reasonable measures to protect the minor volleyball players from sexual exploitation.
Attorney Kelli Burritt was an associate at another law firm when this case was litigated by her.
Result: $1.86 million settlement
Free Consultation — Call Winer, Burritt & Tillis LLP
We respect how difficult it is to report and even discuss abuse. Our law firm keeps all conversations confidential unless you decide to take legal action. Contact us at (510) 433-1000 to speak with a lawyer about your case today.
**We do not represent perpetrators of sexual harassment or those who are accused of sexually harassing behavior.