Disclaimer: Most cases result in a lower recovery. Results may not be typical and reflect awards before deduction for attorneys’ fees and expenses. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
As a resident of Tampa Bay Academy (the Academy), a young boy (“TB”) was repeatedly and violently raped, sodomized and sexually abused by other residents who were minors with known histories of sexual and physical aggression, especially against younger, more vulnerable children. TB was a small child who was developmentally disabled, deaf and had an IQ below 60. Academy officials knew that TB, and vulnerable children like him, were being left alone with dangerous sexual predators; some were even caught in the act of rape.
Despite this knowledge, the Academy failed to report or document any such incidents of sexual abuse. In Aprin 2004, Florida officials learned of the abuse and the Department of Children and Families put Academy on official notice of abuse reports and insufficient responses, yet nothing changed.
Representatives for TB sued the Academy for failing to protect him and failing to perform its duty under state statutes to ensure his dignity and failure to ensure that the humane care of residents of the Academy was of paramount importance and their highest priority.
The assaults resulted in “TB” needing numerous acute psychiatric hospitalizations due to paranoia, hallucinations and increasing aggressive episodes. His medical needs have also increased significantly, particularly those relating to his C-Tube and other gastrointestinal issues.
Academy officials tried to claim ignorance of systemic abuse, repeated reports by and from state officials, the testimony of another minor child who was raped while there, his treating psychiatrist, and even the admission of the primary aggressor in the assaults, . However, the evidence presented by Howard and his team ultimately resulted in the Academy and its insurers to settling the case for $4 million.