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    Child Victims Act

    New York Lawyers Represent Victims of Sexual Abuse Committed by Local Priests, Teachers, and Scout Leaders

    Were you sexually abused as a child by a clergy member, teacher, or scout leader in New York? Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to earn you the compensation you deserve for your suffering.


      How Can We Help You?



      The use of this form for communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

      Completing this form opts you in to receive select communications from Friedman & Ranzenhofer.

      Child Victims Act

      New York Lawyers Represent Victims of Sexual Abuse Committed by Local Priests, Teachers, and Scout Leaders

      Were you sexually abused as a child by a clergy member, teacher, or scout leader in New York? Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to earn you the compensation you deserve for your suffering.

      Child Victims Act

      New York Lawyers Represent Victims of Sexual Abuse Committed by Local Priests, Teachers, and Scout Leaders

      Were you sexually abused as a child by a clergy member, teacher, or scout leader in New York? Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to earn you the compensation you deserve for your suffering.


        How Can We Help You?



        The use of this form for communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

        Completing this form opts you in to receive select communications from Friedman & Ranzenhofer.

        Let Our 66 Years of Experience Work For You

        We represent those who have survived sexual abuse as a minor. We will do our very best to help you recover for your losses, both physical and emotional. Let us help you learn your rights and options. When you are ready, we’re here for you.

        Schedule a consultation

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        Mr. Ranzenhofer and his attorneys were great! My case was handled quickly and I got a great result – $300,000. I fell at my doctor’s office, so I knew it was a hard case. Mr. Ranzenhofer developed a strategy that got me a great result. I highly recommend Mr. Ranzenhofer and his team of attorneys.

        – Christine Rush

        Reasonable / Professional / Personable … Very nice man to speak to … He helped me feel safe and took away my fear in my legal situation. If or when needed he is ready to jump in and take over. Thank you, Carol

        – Carol Czosnyka

        We were treated in a respectful, professional and helpful manner while preparing our wills, healthcare proxies and power of attorney. Mr. Friedman took as much time as we needed to answer all of our questions and concerns. His staff was friendly and efficient. We highly recommend him.

        – John

        Highly recommended…Sam handled a case for me with a buffalo tow truck Company, we won our case and a judgment. Sam was highly professional knowledgeable and effective. He knows the local laws and how to get successful outcomes!

        – Mark

        I consulted with Justin Friedman in an effort to obtain reimbursement following damage to my personal property. Justin was diligent, tenacious, professional, and clearly dedicated to assisting me, all of which led to a very positive outcome. I was very impressed with his work and I highly recommend his office.

        – Lisa Kilanowski

        New Legislation in New York Offers Broader Protections for All Victims of Sexual Abuse.

        You may be entitled to monetary compensation.

        You are not alone. Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC can help you. We help you understand that this was not your fault.  Clients have expressed great relief by finally talking about their experiences, taking action, and having justice served. 

        We will do our very best to help you recover for your losses, both physical and emotional.

        FOR A FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION CALL US NOW AT (716) 542-5444

        How much is my case worth?

        The value of every case is different and the maximum value can only be determined by an experienced attorney.  Many factors go into determining the value and these will be discussed in detail with you.  Past results do not guarantee future successes.  Nonetheless, clients have told us that the closure that legal action provides is more valuable than the money.

        How much have New York victims recovered in settlements?

        Sexual abuse litigation in the United States almost always ends in settlement. Until recently, the Catholic bishops dealt with cases on a one-by-one basis and required confidentiality agreements as a condition of settlement. This strategy was apparently intended to prevent victims from connecting with one another and to keep cases out of the media.

        • The total value of sexual abuse settlements in the United States is well over $3 billion.
          • The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo quietly paid $1.5 million in 2016 to a man who alleged a priest sexually abused him more than three decades ago when he was a teenager.   It was the second lawsuit that the Diocese of Buffalo settled involving allegations of abuse by James A. Spielman, a former diocesan priest who served in at least six New York parishes and taught religion at Archbishop Walsh High School.
          • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester has paid $1,616,000 in compensation to at least 20 children who had been sexually abused by 24 priests since 1950. The number of victims is likely higher because not all of the victims accepted financial compensation. Most cases have settled since the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal erupted in 2002.
        • The Diocese of Rockville Centre in Long Island has offered between $25,000 and $50,000 to 221 of the 293 people who have filed claims since it opened its independent compensation program in 2017.
        • In one of the largest settlements ever awarded to individual victims of abuse within the Church, four men, who were repeatedly sexually abused as children by a religion teacher at a Roman Catholic Church, reached a $27.5 million settlement with the Diocese of Brooklyn and a local after-school program. The victims were repeatedly abused by Angelo Serrano, 67, who taught catechism classes and helped organize the religious education programs at St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
        • Between 2016 and 2018, the Archdiocese of New York paid out close to $60 million to sexual abuse victims.  So far, 278 victims — including a teen molested by a priest at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx in the early 1980s — have been paid $59,950,000 through the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
        • For more, see www.bishop-accountability.org/settlements/
        Is it morally wrong to sue the Church for sexual abuse?

        No, it is just the opposite. It is not only your right, but your responsibility to bring legal action against the Church and the individuals who committed these unspeakable crimes.  Your actions could save many others from suffering similar abuses.   Even the head of the Catholic Church, strongly feels there is no other appropriate response. On May 13, 2018, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Pope Francis during which he was asked about pedophilia in the Church.  The Pope responded “Towards pedophilia, zero tolerance! And the church must punish such priests, who have that problem, and bishops must remove from their priestly functions anyone with that disease, that tendency to pedophilia, and that includes supporting the legal action by the parents before the civil courts.  There is no other way out of this!

        How long do I have to file a suit in New York?

        New York’s Child Victims Act gives expanded rights to survivors of sexual abuse by extending the statute of limitations for bringing a claim.  This applies to both civil and criminal claims against priests, teachers, counselors, and anyone else who has committed sexual abuse.

        Formerly, those who were sexually abused as children could only bring civil and criminal claims up until the age of 23.   Under the new law, victims can bring civil claims up until the age of 55 and criminal claims up until the age of 28. The Child Victim’s Act will also provide all abuse survivors, regardless of their current age, until August 13, 2021 to bring legal action against their abusers. Beginning on August 14, 2019, even those that were previously time-barred by the statute of limitations can file claims even if their abusers have died. The United States Bankruptcy Court, however has set a deadline of November 16, 2020 for filing bankruptcy claims against the Boy Scouts of America.

        In recognition of the fact that many victims have already been forced to wait years for access to the justice system, the new law will give trial preference to revived cases.  Judges will also be required to undergo additional training concerning crimes involving sexual abuse of minors.

        The Child Victim’s Act will also treat public and private entities equally by removing current notice of claim provisions for public entities and further clarifying that both entities are subject to the one-year look-back window.

        When this  time  is up on August 13, 2021, however, so is the opportunity to bring certain claims.  Furthermore, the  window may be significantly shortened if a defendant (such as a diocese or the Boy Scouts) declares bankruptcy.  It is incredibly important, therefore, to contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn about your options since your time to file a claim may be limited.

        Our Experience

        Justin R. Friedman earned his J.D. from the Catholic University Columbus School of Law in 2017 with a concentration in Criminal Law. Previously, Justin received a B.A. from S.U.N.Y. Geneseo in 2001, a M.F.A. from American University in 2009, and has done extensive work in the fields of education and content writing.

        Justin is committed to utilizing the skills he has honed over the course of his previous career to best serve his clients in New York.

        Our Availability

        We are available seven days a week by telephone at (716) 542-5444 or by our contact form. We will personally meet you at your home, the hospital or at one of our thirteen local offices.

        Our No Fee Guarantee

        You pay no fee unless you win your case. That’s our guarantee to you.

        Our Promise

        Our sole purpose in helping child victims is to protect your rights and help you recover for your losses, both physical and emotional. 

        • Communicate with you in plain language that is easy to understand.
        • Promptly return your telephone calls.
        • Quickly and thoroughly investigate and analyze your case.
        • Have your case personally handled by an attorney.
        • Keep you informed of the progress of your case at all times.
        • Show you the personal care, concern and attention which have been the hallmark of Friedman & Ranzenhofer, P.C. since 1955.
        • Accommodate the needs of you and your family during the handling of your case.
        • Vigorously protect your legal rights.
        Will I speak directly with an attorney about my case?

        Yes, you will speak directly with an attorney who promises that:

        • Every word of your conversation will always be kept in the strictest confidence.
        • You will learn your rights and options. We understand what you have been through and we do not want to cause you any more trauma or stress.
        • We won’t take any action on your behalf until you are completely ready.   We will certainly respect your wishes, even if you decide not to pursue a case.

        6) How much are legal fees?

        The first consultation is absolutely free with no obligation to hire us. You will not pay a fee unless we recover money for you.

        How much are legal fees?

        The first consultation is absolutely free with no obligation to hire us. You will not pay a fee unless we recover money for you.

        Does Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC represent any institutions which have perpetuated sexual abuse?

        No, we only represent abuse survivors and not the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, schools, or any other institutional enablers of abuse.

        Why do most victims of sexual abuse never file a criminal complaint or civil lawsuit?

        There are at least three reasons why victims never come forward:

        • Until 2019, the statute of limitations in New York did not take into account the time that usually passes before victims of these crimes feel comfortable coming forward.
        • Many survivors have been told by the Church that they were the only victims. Dioceses have compounded this problem by dealing quietly with abuse allegations — failing to notify parishes and schools where abusers worked, obtaining confidentiality agreements, and using various “pastoral” approaches. Only recently have diocese released lists of the accused clergy. As a result, many survivors must overcome loneliness and neglect going forward.
        • It is often difficult for those who were sexually abused as children to come forward to discuss the abuse with anyone, including attorneys.
        Why have lawsuits targeted dioceses and religious orders rather than parishes?

        Individual Catholic congregations have little authority over their priests. The diocesan assets at stake in the ongoing cases include cash, stocks, land, and buildings, in addition to insurance payouts.

        How common is sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?

        Instances of sexual abuse have been reported against clergy of the Catholic Church as far back as the early 1900s. Since then, thousands of priests have been accused of sexual abuse globally. Many of these priests were, or still are, members of the Diocese of Buffalo. Some of the most commonly reported instances of sexual abuse in recent years have been perpetrated by the pastors and leaders of the Catholic Church.

        The Archdiocese of New York is among the “most secretive” Catholic districts in dealing with sexual abuse allegations against priests.  According to a report by BishopAccountability.org, a clergy abuse watchdog group, the Archdiocese of New York, with more than 2.5 million members, has identified 84 Catholic clergy members as sexual abusers of children, compared with 92 in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, which has only 316,000 members.

        Catholic priests who have been accused of sexual abuse number between 5,700 and 10,000, but because of restrictive statutes of limitations, only a few hundred have been tried, convicted, and sentenced for their crimes. The rest are never listed on a Megan’s Law list, and society must bear the terrible cost of their continued access to children.

        These are recent headlines from the Buffalo News:

        • 13 Buffalo priests accused of sexual offenses against minors (May 12, 2018).
        • Buffalo Catholic Diocese’s new list of priests accuses of sexual abuse (November 5, 2018).
        • Buffalo Diocese adds 36 more priests to abuse list (November 5, 2018).
        • Buffalo priest accused of using gun to coerce victim, attorney says (November 26, 2018).
        • FBI engaged in wide-ranging probe of clergy sex abuse in Buffalo (December 7, 2018).
        • Buffalo Diocese knew of priest’s pedophilia in 1980s despite lawyers claim (December 12, 2018)
        • 8 Buffalo priests on Jesuits’ list of 50 accused of molesting children (January 16, 2019).
        What are the consequences of sexual abuse?

        This type of abuse can cause lifelong trauma, feelings of guilt, and difficulty trusting others. Over the years, we have learned much from our clients about the devastating long-term effects and far-reaching consequences of childhood sexual abuse.  Thousands of abuse survivors have struggled with psychiatric problems, substance abuse, and suicidal tendencies.

        The sexual abuse of children perpetuated by Catholic Church has also had massive economic consequences – lost earnings, increased requirements for healthcare, financial effects on family members, investigation costs, and expenses involving incarceration and parole management — that far exceed the costs of civil claims.

        Do I need an attorney in order to receive a settlement?

        You need an experienced attorney to reach the best settlement for you and your family.  Countless hours of work and investigation go into every case.  We handle each case as if it will eventually go to trial.  This hard work and our reputation will help you receive the maximum value for your case

        Client Reviews

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        “Friedman & Ranzenhofer provided prompt, courteous and professional assistance regarding a current legal issue. We have used the services of this firm repeatedly because of their consistent high quality service levels.”
        – Ed Berowski

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