Personal Injury

Filing a Coach Sex Abuse Case in Michigan

Student Athletes and Sexual Assault by Coaches and Doctors

Sexual abuse and assault of athletes seems to be in the news more often lately. Well publicized locally and nationally are major incidents at our finest universities, such as Dr. Anderson’s abuse at University of Michigan; and Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse at Michigan State University and beyond. Recently, youth hockey doctor, Dr. Zvi Levran, of Farmington Hills was accused of sexually abusing patients during exams. If you or your child has experienced sexual assault or abuse contact an Experienced Michigan Sex Assault Attorney like Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys.

A Hockey Doctor’s History of Abuse In Oakland County and Beyond

According to the Athletic, Dr. Levran worked with High School Hockey programs in Minnesota prior to coming to Michigan in 2018. He left Minnesota shortly after being accused of sexual misconduct by a 16-year-old hockey player. In many of these cases there is a long history of abuse and of organizations such as schools turning a blind eye to complaints. In Michigan, tips have come in from Farmington Hills, Novi, Livonia, West Bloomfield, and Redford. Police and prosecutors urge anyone who has information or who may have had contact with Dr. Levran to call their tip line: 248-871-2610.

Contact a Michigan Physician Sexual Abuse Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a sexual assault case by Dr. Zvi Levran, contact Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys. Our Sexual Abuse and Assault Attorneys can explain your rights and legal options and help you pursue and resolve your sexual assault claim.

Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for its victims. Schools and coaches have a responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment for their students and athletes. If a student athlete is sexually assaulted, the school and coach may be held liable if it can be shown that they were aware of the danger and failed to take appropriate action to prevent the assault from occurring. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, it is important to seek help from law enforcement and qualified medical professionals, and to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

How Often Is Sexual Assault Happening in Athletics?

Sexual assault is a widespread problem in society and the athletic community is not immune. According to various studies, student athletes are at a higher risk of sexual assault than non-athletes. The exact frequency of sexual assault in athletics is difficult to determine, as many incidents go unreported. However, it is important to note that any instance of sexual assault is one too many, and it is crucial for schools and athletic organizations to have policies and procedures in place to address and prevent sexual assault.

What Precautions Should Be Taken by Schools to Protect Your Student-Athlete From Sexual Assault?

Here are some steps that schools and administrators can take to protect student athletes from sexual assault:

1. Education: Provide education and training on sexual assault prevention, consent, and healthy relationships to student athletes, coaches, and staff.

2. Screening and background checks: Conduct thorough background checks on all coaches, trainers, and staff who have contact with student athletes.

3. Policies and procedures: Develop clear policies and procedures for responding to and reporting incidents of sexual assault, including confidential reporting options.

4. Supervision: Ensure that student athletes have adequate supervision during practices, games, and other activities.

5. Reporting: Encourage student athletes to report any incidents of sexual assault to a trusted adult, such as a coach, teacher or administrator.

6. Support: Provide support and resources to student athletes who have experienced sexual assault, including counseling and medical services.

It is important to note that preventing sexual assault is a collective responsibility and requires the cooperation of everyone in the athletic community.

Is a Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against a Coach a Criminal or Civil Suit?

A sexual assault lawsuit against a coach can be both a criminal and a civil suit. Criminal charges can be brought against the coach by the government and, if convicted, they can face imprisonment and fines. Civil claims can be brought by the victim or their family seeking damages for the harm caused by the assault. A civil lawsuit operates independently of the criminal case and is meant to compensate the victim for their losses, such as medical expenses, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The outcome of a criminal case does not necessarily dictate the outcome of a civil case, and vice versa. In some cases, both a criminal and a civil suit may be pursued simultaneously. It is recommended to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand the legal options available.

What Should a Parent Do if They Suspect a Coach Is Sexually Assaulting Their Child?

If a parent suspects that their child is being sexually assaulted by a coach, they should take immediate action to protect their child and seek help. Here are some steps that a parent can take:

1. Report: Report the incident to the police or a child protective services agency.

2. Medical attention: Seek medical attention for the child.

3. Document: Document any physical evidence and keep a record of any conversations with authorities, witnesses, or medical professionals.

4. Protect: Remove the child from the situation and take steps to ensure their safety.

5. Support: Provide support and comfort to the child and encourage them to open up about their experiences.

6. Legal advice: Consult with an experienced Sexual Assault and Abuse Attorney to understand the legal options available and to pursue any appropriate lawsuits.

It is important to take swift action in cases of suspected sexual assault, as evidence can quickly disappear and memories can fade. By taking prompt action, a parent can help their child get the support they need and hold the responsible parties accountable.

Can I Sue a School or Coach if I Suspect My Child Has Been Sexually Assaulted?

Yes, you may be able to sue a school or coach if you suspect that your child has been sexually assaulted. If the school or coach was aware of the danger and failed to take appropriate action to prevent the assault, or if their negligence contributed to the assault, they may be held liable for the harm caused. A personal injury lawsuit can provide a way to hold the school or coach accountable and seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and lost wages. However, it is important to note that each case is unique, and the best course of action will depend on the specific circumstances. It is recommended to consult with an experienced sexual assault and abuse attorney such as Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys to understand the legal options available and to determine the best way to proceed.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Pursuing a Civil Claim for  Sex Abuse in Michigan?

In Michigan, as of March 2023, the statute of limitations for a civil cause of action for damages sustained because of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan is 10 years. MCL 600.5805(6). Notwithstanding this, an individual who was a victim of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan while they were a minor may commence a civil cause of action for damages sustained thereby by the later of (1) the individual’s 28th birthday; or (2) three years after the date of the individual discovers, or should have discovered through reasonable diligence, the injury and its causal relationship with the criminal sexual conduct. MCL 600.5851b. This means that victims of child sexual abuse have until their 28th birthday to file a lawsuit against their abuser, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

What to do if you’ve been a victim of abuse or assault by a coach or doctor.

Support for Sexually Assaulted Adults and Minors

If you or someone you know was assaulted in Michigan and you need advice, contact the experienced sexual assault trial lawyers at Giroux Pappas. We’ve handled cases against team doctors, clergy, teachers and others in positions of authority. We can help you achieve justice and recover damages such as financial costs, emotional damages and others. Contact us at 248-531-8665.

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Bob Giroux

Bob Giroux's Bio

Bob has been a litigation attorney for over 24 years. He is a Super Lawyer and has received, from Martindale, Hubbell, an AV Preeminent rating, the highest rating obtainable in both proficiency and ethics. Bob Giroux is a true litigator and trial attorney that has worked both sides of the courtroom and has personally been involved in over 100 trials.