A Georgia jury recently awarded $60 million in damages to a Cobb, Georgia woman who was sexually assaulted by a male employee of the Devereux Georgia Treatment Network in May 2012 when she was 15 years old. The jury awarded the woman $10 million in actual damages, $50 million in punitive damages, and the costs of her legal expenses.
The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, filed her lawsuit in February 2017 against The Devereux Foundation (which owns the Devereux Georgia Treatment Network); the male employee who assaulted her, Jimmy Anthony Singleterry; and the Georgia facility’s executive director at the time. The lawsuit alleged that Devereux failed to maintain a duty of care toward the woman, failed to ensure Singleterry was appropriately qualified and trained for the job, and improperly allowed him to be alone with the victim in her residential cottage without supervision.
The jury determined that both Devereux and Singleterry were 50% at fault in the case.
Singleterry was separately criminally prosecuted and pleaded guilty to charges of statutory rape, child molestation, and sexual assault of a person in custody. He was sentenced on Oct. 29, 2013, to 12 years in prison. At the time, he was 43 years old.
The Devereux Foundation, which operates as Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, is headquartered in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and operates facilities for people 21 years old and younger who have serious emotional and behavioral problems. The organization’s facilities are located in 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The attorney for the woman said that Devereux had revenues in 2018 of $467 million.
According to media reports, the organization’s Georgia facility, located in Kennesaw, Georgia, has been at the center of a number of alleged sexual assault cases over the past two decades. In 2017, a male therapist admitted to federal agents that he was grooming boys to have sex with them. In 2013, two female patients were accused of sexually assaulting a third female patient, with one of them eventually pleading guilty. In 2003, two male patients ran away from the center and later allegedly raped a woman. In 2000, a counselor was accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old patient.
Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., is a personal injury law firm taking sexual abuse cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We have experience helping victims of child sex abuse file civil claims against the parties responsible for their abuse.
For information about filing a child sex abuse lawsuit, call our firm at (215) 546-6636 or use our online case review form to schedule a free consultation.
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Source: Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C.