Parents sue school for sexual assault of their two girls

Published 20 Jan 2016

Our clients in this matter were two teenage girls who had been sexually assaulted at school, and their parents. The parents of the two girls were seeking compensation for the mental shock which they suffered as a result of what happened to their children. Thankfully there was no physical trauma.

The two girls and their parents all suffered psychological injuries as a result of the sexual assaults. Our clients understood that no amount of compensation could undo what happened to the two girls. However, they felt that the school had to be held responsible for what happened. For this reason, our clients consulted Gerard Malouf and Partners to seek compensation for their loss. David Cossalter, the experienced personal injury solicitor with carriage of these matters, acted promptly to secure medical evidence supporting the psychological trauma and filed proceedings in all four matters in order to secure our clients’ legal rights.

We maintained open lines of communications with the solicitors who were acting for the school, and we arranged to have a mediation in order to try and resolve the matter prior to hearing. The defendant made final offers of settlement in all four matters, which together added up to just under $1 million dollars. Our clients understood that this was a reasonable offer. They felt that it represented an acknowledgement by the school of what happened to the girls. Our clients instructed us to settle the matters for the offers made by the defendant.

As the two girls were underage at the time of settlement, we needed to apply for approval of the settlements in their matters in court. Ordinarily settlement money in such matters would be transferred to the New South Wales Trustee and Guardian to be held on trust until the child turns 18.

However, David Cossalter understood that the parents of the two girls were sophisticated and business minded people who could invest the money on behalf of the girls. As such he prepared a proposal that the money should be transferred to the father to hold on trust and invest on behalf of the two girls. The Court agreed with this proposal based on an undertaking given by the father that he would transfer each girl’s money, and any money made from the investment, to that girl on her 18th birthday.  

If you or somebody you know has been wronged, do not hesitate to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners. Our experienced team of lawyers is very understanding of various personal circumstances. We will work hard to achieve the best results possible for you.