Y.U. Students File Appeal in $680M Abuse Suit

Lawyer Says Judge Was 'Spectacularly Wrong' To Toss Case


By Paul Berger

Published April 03, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A federal judge was “spectacularly wrong” to toss out a $680 million lawsuit brought by former students who say they were abused decades ago at Yeshiva University’s Manhattan high school for boys, a lawyer for the students said.

“It would shock me to not prevail on appeal,” an attorney for the former students, Kevin Mulhearn, told the Forward on April 3.

The lawsuit, brought by 34 former students, was dismissed in January by a federal judge in Manhattan, John Koeltl.

Koeltl cited New York State’s statute of limitations, which gives victims three years to file a civil claim, as the reason for his decision.

But Mulhearn argues that the statute of limitations did not begin to run when the abuse occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.

In court papers filed with the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on April 1, Mulhearn argues that the clock began to run in December 2012, when the victims found out they had been deceived by Y.U.

That was the month when the Forward published an article which showed that Y.U. was aware for decades that two of its employees, rabbi George Finkelstein and rabbi Macy Gordon, were abusing students.

In court papers, Mulhearn said that Y.U. officials received at least 25 abuse allegations against Finkelstein and Gordon, from 1971 to the late 1980s. Yet Y.U. continued to employ the men and to laud them even after they left Y.U.

Schools “which successfully cover-up sexual abuse by their employees…must be held legally accountable once their long-term cover-ups are finally, at long last, publicly exposed,” Mulhearn wrote in his appeal.

Y.U. is expected to file its response to the former student’s appeal by the middle of May.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger


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!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • 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.