Y.U. Pushes Back Against $380M Abuse Lawsuit Saying Students Waited Too Long

Lawyers Ask Why Victims Failed To Come Forward Sooner


By Paul Berger

Published September 26, 2013, issue of October 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Dozens of former students who say they were abused by rabbis at a Yeshiva University high school waited decades too long to file their $380 million lawsuit, Y.U.’s attorneys say.

“There is no debate that the abuse each plaintiff endured, if true, is unacceptable,” the attorneys stated in a recent court filing. But “the law strikes a balance between the rights [the plaintiffs] could have exercised long ago, and the defendants’ competing rights to a fair opportunity to present evidence in their defense.

“The passage of time, fading of memories and passing of witnesses deprives defendants [of] a fair opportunity to defend themselves against plaintiffs who sat on their claims.”

Under New York State law, child victims of sexual abuse have until their 23rd birthday to file a civil lawsuit.

Kevin Mulhearn, who represents the plaintiffs in this case, argues that the statute of limitations does not apply, because Y.U. fraudulently covered up the abuse and misrepresented the safety of the school. Mulhearn’s clients are 34 former students of Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys, in Manhattan, aged 39 to 60. The former students are suing Y.U., current and former senior administrators, and trustees for $380 million in damages for abuses that they say took place between 1971 and 1992.

Last August, Mulhearn wielded the same argument to survive a motion to dismiss a similar case involving his alma mater, Poly Prep Country Day School, in Brooklyn. Poly Prep settled for an undisclosed sum last year with 12 men who said they were abused by the school’s former football coach, Philip Foglietta.

Y.U.’s motion to dismiss the case, which has been anticipated for several weeks, was filed September 13 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Karen Bitar, a lawyer for the firm Greenberg Traurig, which represents the defendants, anticipates that Mulhearn will rely on a ruling in the Poly Prep case to bolster his lawsuit.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.