Recent Cases


Below is a sample of some of our recent cases.

The names, locations and some dates are changed for privacy. Settlement sums are only expressed as above or below $350,000 for privacy and confidentiality reasons.

Archdiocese of Melbourne - School and Church - Event 1977 - VIC

Paul was terribly abused by a Fr Kevin O'Donnell, a notorious abuser, when he was 11 years old.  Most of Paul's life he thought he had schizophrenia from his chronic drug use but our expert re-diagnosed Paul with serious trauma related conditions from the abuse. 

On the conclusion of the matter Paul said "I am numb after today, but I feel like 33 years has come off my shoulders.  I was scared from the moment I left home.  You have given me back MY life and I will never forget this."

Settlement over $350,000

Ward under Uniting Church Care - Orphanage - Event 1967 - QLD

Steve was both under the care of the Uniting Church in Queensland.  He was beaten, sexually humiliated and sexually abused over a number of years.

Most of his adult life was troubled with alcohol, crime and jail. 

Steve said "I have tried for years to put a lid on it all, but as I got older that became harder and harder.  At least now I can feel like I can put it behind me properly.  I did something about it and that makes be feel better". 

Settlement under $350,000

Church Abuse - Event 1972 - Taz

Louise was terribly abused when she was 6 years old by the local priest.  

This priest made her feel so "special" that even today Louise sometimes feels a "love" for him as "my father".  Louise has lived a life with mental illness whilst managing a career and raising a family. Louise has been hospitalised over 45 times in her life due to her psychiatric conditions.

Louise said "I have learned to manage.  It was very hard for me make and claim and go to the police but I did it and I am better for it.  I am proud of myself because, even with the doubt, I did the right thing and I am stronger now for it.

Settlement over $350,000

Scouts - Event 1991 - NSW

Kevin met his abuser at a street party.  That man later became a local Scout Leader and groomed Kevin with a common interest in video games.  Most of the abuses occurred outside of Scout events but were continuous for over a year whilst Kevin was only 15 years old. 

"The worst thing for me", he said, "is that I do not know how to feel.  I know when I should feel but I don't feel anything". 

Kevin’s 20's were difficult but now, in his early 30's, with help and support, Kevin is getting his life together. 

Settlement under $350,000

Ward of the State - Orphanage - Event 1965 - NSW

Mary was sexually abused and mistreated at a Sisters of Mercy Orphanage in NSW.  

Mary was also mistreated by her parents and experienced a loveless childhood.  As an adult she says "I do not get on with normal people.  I am not normal.  People think I am a nutter and I feel like telling them well if you lived the life I had how do you think you'd turn out?"

During the settlement meeting she said "for the first time in my life, people have helped me feel important. I am important."

Settlement under $350,000

Catholic School - 1989 - WA

Jeff was 9 when he was fondled by his teacher in the classroom.  Jeff did not find the event particularly traumatic at the time but he later experienced self doubt and self loathing as he tried to understand what had happened to him and, being deeply religious, what that meant to him in the eyes of God.  He had not told anyone.  

In Jeff's 40's he experienced long periods of impotency.

Settlement under $350,000

Public School Abuse - 1984 - NSW

Jenny's teacher had a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 to 19 years old.  He was never charged but the evidence was that other teachers within the school knew of the relationship and Jenny described sexual assault and grooming from the age of 14.  Jenny is now 38 years and is a high achieving yet socially withdrawn academic.  She describes that "he had a hold" on her for many years.  She self-harms at times and experiences chronic depression.  We settled her matter recently and during the Mediation she was able to make a personal statement and received an apology from the Department.  "It was like something had been lifted from my shoulders" Jenny said afterwards.  "I can now move on with my life".

Importantly for Jenny, the Department were able to identify measures that exist today that would help prevent the same happening to other girls.

Settlement Sum under $350,000

Anglican Diocese - 1984 - ACT

Karen was sexually abused by her father before the age of 10.  When she was older she also abused by her family priest when she was 13 and 14 who had "counselled" her over the abuses of her father.  Karen claimed against the church for the later abuse.

This case required expert evidence as to the separation of the injuries caused by the earlier and subsequent abuse.   This case was further complicated by the client's fear of counsellors and psychiatrists .

This matter settled before the settlement conference and Karen said "You aren’t related to me – our business has been professionally based. But it’s been life changing for me to begin realising that people like you, the AFP and the Royal Commission believe what happened to me was wrong, and was against the law. I’ve assumed all my life that no one cared, and that my life wasn’t considered valuable."

Settlement Sum under $350,000

DOCS/FACS Failure - 2006 - NSW

DOCS failed to properly act having determined a child was at risk.  Our client Renee was subsequently sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend. 

Renee was only 16 when we started acting for her via her guardian.  Because of her age, we had to have her evaluated three times to ensure we had the most up to date diagnosis.  The matter was dealt with by mediation and because Renee was only 18 everyone agreed to put this money under trust for 5 years to ensure it was protected for her future use.

Settlement Sum over $350,000

Catholic School Abuse  - Stanislaus - 1987 - NSW

Nick attended Stanislaus College in Bathurst and was sexually abused by Brother Spillane.   Nick's reaction to the abuse was typical in that he rejected authority and took a path of destruction: violence, crime, broken relationships, drugs and some time in jail.   Nick has learnt to manage his behavior with professional support.

We settled the matter in an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC)  where Nick was given a verbal apology by the Vincentian Fathers.  Nick is still angry but he said "well at least the bastards paid up". 

 Settlement Sum under $350,000

Hospital Abuse - 1966 - NSW

Anne was sexually abused by her male treating nurse whilst in a psychiatric hospital in 1966.  Whilst Anne was an adult at the time of the abuse, her incapacity to consent and the nature of the relationship was considered a breach of duty by the hospital.  From that abuse she had a child when she was 22 years old and was forced to give the child up.  Later in life Anne tried to reconnect with her son but sadly he rejected her and wanted no contact.  The Department took a dim view to the claim until we uncovered a file note of the treating psychiatrist at the hospital evidencing that they knew of the relationship.

Anne is now 82 years old and is using the settlement monies to put all her grandchildren through private school.

Settlement Sum over $350,000

Survivor v Perpetrator - 1984 - VIC

Kim was abused by her uncle who was never convicted of the offence.  When Kim's children reached the age she was when she was abused she felt compelled to do something about it. We commenced proceedings against the uncle and settled the matter on the day of the hearing.

During the process, Kim learned that others within her family had been abused by the uncle.  Afterwards Kim said "I am happy I did this. I think this has made all the women in my family stronger".

Settlement Sum under $350,000

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