Simmons Hanly Conroy, working with Boston-based plaintiffs attorney Mitchell Garabedian, has filed more than 100 new cases alleging sex abuse of young Haitian boys at an orphanage in Haiti more than seven years ago by convicted pedophile Douglas Perlitz.
The new cases, filed Nov. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, follow the 2013 landmark settlement for $12 million of 24 consolidated sex abuse cases alleging negligent supervision of Perlitz at the orphanage. Simmons Hanly Conroy negotiated that settlement, paid by defendants the Society of Jesus of New England; Fairfield University; the Order of Malta; Hope Carter, a volunteer at the Haitian facility; and Father Paul Carrier.
Claims in all of the cases involve improper supervision of Perlitz’s activities as he operated the school for underprivileged boys in Cap Haitien, Haiti, from the late 1990s until approximately 2010, during which time Perlitz raped and otherwise sexually abused the victims. In 2011, Perlitz was convicted of sexual abuse and is serving a 19-year, seven-month federal prison sentence in Seagoville, Texas.
According to the new complaint, Perlitz repeatedly molested boys, ages 9 to 21, at the orphanage and demanded sexual favors in exchange for shoes, clothing, money or other necessities. Boys who were willing to accede to Perlitz’s demands were provided with new clothes and shoes, as well as cash, while boys who refused Perlitz’s demands were forced to go without basic necessities.
“We are committed to ensuring that all of the boys who lived at the orphanage and who were sexually abused by Perlitz during his time there are compensated for their suffering. Our goal is to help prevent similar incidents in the future,” said Paul Hanly, a shareholder of Simmons Hanly Conroy who, along with firm shareholder Jayne Conroy, has traveled to Haiti numerous times to investigate these cases. “The incidents involving the Haitian boys are important reminders that sexual abuse of children is a worldwide crisis and not limited to the United States or even to the Catholic Church.”
Defendant Carrier is a priest in the New England Jesuit Order, which also operates Fairfield University. The New England Jesuit Order over the last four decades has had several members who have sexually abused numerous children.
“Rather than take timely action to prevent sexual abuse of children, the New England Jesuit Order’s practice has been years later to pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in compensation for the harm its members caused to children,” according to the complaint for the newly filed cases. “The New England Jesuit Order’s management and supervision in this case was, sadly, consistent with the way it managed other instances involving the sexual abuse of children.”
About Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC
Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC is one of the nation’s largest mass tort law firms and has recovered more than $5 billion in verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs. Primary areas of litigation include asbestos and mesothelioma, pharmaceutical, consumer protection, environmental and personal injury. The firm’s attorneys have been appointed to leadership in numerous national multidistrict litigations, including Vioxx, Yaz and Toyota Unintended Acceleration. The firm also represents small and mid-size corporations, inventors and entrepreneurs in matters involving business litigation. Offices are located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Alton. Read more at www.simmonsfirm.com.