Kimmel Carter Managing Partner Larry Kimmel Leads DTLA Effort to Protect Child Sexual Assault Victim
Larry Kimmel’s efforts now gives sexual assault victims the right to recover in court
WILMINGTON, DE – September 1, 2022 - Larry Kimmel, Managing Partner of Kimmel Carter and past President of the Delaware Trial Lawyers’ Association (DTLA), lead DTLA’s effort to successfully pass a bill in the State of Delaware to give sexually abused children the right to recover damages based on sexual abuse by an adult employee or agent of a public school. Prior to this new law, Delaware protected public schools and the State of Delaware from any civil liability due to sovereign immunity, making Delaware public schools and the State of Delaware immune from civil damages with very few exceptions.
The Delaware House of Representatives and the Delaware Senate passed House Bill 277 unanimously, and on August 19, 2022, Governor Carney signed the bill into law, permitting sexually abused children to recover damages based on sexual abuse by an adult employee or agent of the public school.
Kimmel’s mission to get this done was sparked by his representation of a sexually abused young girl named Sydney. Sadly, Sydney, who was the manager of the Caesar Rodney High School wrestling team, was sexually abused over 40 times by the wrestling coach. The coach was sentenced to 7 years in prison, but Sydney lost her civil case in front of the Delaware Supreme Court. Despite the disappointing result, Kimmel was determined to have the law changed so that children in public schools would have the same rights as those children in private schools – the right to bring a civil claim for sexual assault and have a jury determine the outcome of the case.
“I have never been prouder to be a Delaware Trial Lawyer, and I want to thank our General Assembly, the Governor, and all of the people who helped get this law passed,” Kimmel explained. “ While this law is not retroactive, and we cannot help those victims of sexual abuse who were sexually assaulted in the past, we can now compensate future victims who find themselves in this unfortunate situation. Moreover, these new laws will hopefully deter sexual predators in the future, and Delaware public schools are now on notice that they must take proactive steps and not turn a blind eye to the sexual abuse occurring in their schools…or they will be held accountable.”
Kimmel, alongside Brian Moore, chairman of the Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council, Senator Poore, Majority Leader Longhurst, Representative Moore, Raeann Warner (immediate past President of DTLA), Mary Davis (DTLA lobbyist), Tara Bustard (current President of DTLA), and Lauren Cirrinicione at a special bill signing press conference where six sexual assault bills (“SAFE”) were signed into law by Governor Carney.
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