Posted: April 18, 2016

 April 2016 is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a month the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recognizes as a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect as well as to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families. During the month and also throughout the year, the department urges communities to share strategies and activities working toward child abuse prevention. The year 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
 Child abuse affects communities throughout the country, from major cities to rural communities. Attorneys at Kline & Specter have acted to punish in the civil courts individuals who have perpetrated abuse crimes against children. In the most highly publicized case, Tom Kline filed suit on behalf of Victim No. 5 against Penn State University in the Jerry Sandusky scandal and his law firm was a leader in legal action against the university for allegedly having knowledge of Sandusky’s actions and failing to protect his young victims. The former assistant football coach was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys. Penn State officials ultimately agreed to pay victims $60 million in civil settlements.
 In another case, Kline filed suit against an unlicensed psychotherapist in Lehigh County, PA, who had sexual contact with a teenage patient. The case resulted in a financial settlement of as much as $3.8 million, a public apology by the therapist and his agreement to never practice psychotherapy or any other form of counseling again in the United States.
 Shanin Specter obtained a $2 million settlement from the School District of Philadelphia in a case in which a 12-year-old and 13-year-old student were sexually assaulted in a school stairwell.
 In a current case, Kline & Specter is seeking justice for the family of a boy who alleged he was abused for years by a Philadelphia Catholic priest who has since been removed from priestly duties over previous allegations. Criminal charges were dropped against the priest after the victim, Sean McIlmail, years later at the age of 26, died of a heroin overdose. But our law firm is continuing to represent Sean’s family in proving the church knew of the priest’s prior offenses and allowed him to continue in ministry and have access to children like Sean.
 For more information, see child abuse lawsuits.