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January 18, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on American Red Cross Cited by FDA for Blood-Safety Rule Violations

American Red Cross Cited by FDA for Blood-Safety Rule Violations

Blumberg news reported that the American Red Cross failed to correct violations of blood-safety rules, raising the risk that ill-suited blood will be used in transfusions, U.S. regulators said. The FDA fined the Red Cross $9.59 million, according to a letter from the agency to the Red Cross made public on Jan. 13. The organization has been cited 14 times since 2003 and fined about $46 million for similar offenses. The Red Cross didn’t ensure that all staff had adequate blood-safety training and hasn’t created a complete list of prospective donors who were disqualified from giving blood, according to the letter. The Washington-based consumer group Public Citizen this month urged the agency to levy sanctions.

January 7, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on JUSTICE FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©- PART 2

JUSTICE FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©- PART 2

Before a victim of a sexual assault, physical assault or victim of a sexual exploitation decides to pursue their assailant in a civil court of law, they should have a detailed conference with an attorney who is well-versed in crime victim law and inadequate security litigation.  Crime victim cases are much different than simple automobile collision injury cases. Most “personal injury” lawyers are not experienced nor do they have the training or experience to properly investigate these “quasi-criminal” cases. The truth is that most attorneys do not understand how to prosecute these “crime victim” cases. There are only a handful of lawyers in the United States who understand how to try crime victim and sexual exploitation cases and who are sensitive to the emotional and physical trauma that these victims suffer. Lawyers, like me, who have a background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, usually have more experience in how to handle these civil tort cases that civil attorneys.

Meeting with an experienced attorney can help the crime victim understand the process through the civil justice system, determine whether there is a viable cause of action, and most importantly, whether there is a reasonable chance of actually recovering money damages against a perpetrator. An experienced attorney should be able to discuss applicable statutes of limitation, which bar civil lawsuits from being pursued if a plaintiff delays too long after the cause of action accrues. Most states have limitation periods on civil and criminal actions. These periods of time are referred to as “Statutes of Limitation.” They govern the amount of time that can pass before a crime or civil action can be prosecuted. For example, personal injury car accident cases in Texas must be filed within two years from the date of the offense. However, sexual assault cases in Texas have a five year limitation period.

It is important to note that when dealing with cases involving children, most states’ limitation periods do not begin to run until the child turns 18 years of age and becomes a legal adult. This is true in Texas. If the sexual assault was committed against a child, in Texas, that child’s five year limitation clock does not begin to run until they turn 18 years of age-the age of adulthood. Thus, they would be able to pursue a claim against the perpetrator until their 23rd birthday. Some states also stop the limitation period clock if the perpetrator left the state where the offense occurred. The clock doesn’t start running until the perpetrator returns to the state.

Texas, like several other states, has a specific statute that makes it illegal for mental health professional (therapists, family counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and clergy) providers to have sexual relations with their clients. This was in response to the growing number of cases involving doctors, psychiatrists, family counselors, and clergy violating their positions of trust in the community, crossing boundaries, and sexually exploiting their patients and clients. These cases include sexual assault and consensual sexual relations between therapist/doctor and patient and may include exploitation of former patients.

Kevin Madison is an Austin-based attorney with over 29 years litigation experience and 25 years of experience as a judge. He is also a trained Sexual Assault Crime Victim Advocate.  He was the first attorney in Austin to file a civil lawsuit against a rapist and obtained a $1.5 million judgment in 1987. His experience and training as a police officer, police chief, prosecutor and EMT set him apart from most other personal injury attorneys as an advocate for victim rights in the civil justice system. To learn more about Kevin Madison or civil remedies available to victims of sexual assault, visit www.KevinMadison.com or call (512) 708-1650.

December 23, 2011 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on JUSTICE FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©

JUSTICE FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©

JUSTICE FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©

There is a movement gaining momentum across the United States to seek redress for physical assaults and sexual assaults in civil courts. Although we are all too familiar with the criminal justice system as “the” system of redress for victims of sexual assaults, many victims remain unaware that they may have a viable cause of action for monetary (money) damages against sexual predators in the civil justice court system. These civil actions are becoming more common in courts throughout the U.S.

Any criminal action committed against a person can not only be prosecuted in criminal court but most states allow these intentional assaults (“torts”) to be prosecuted as a civil cause of action in the civil court justice system. Physical assaults, sexual assaults, sexual exploitation by doctors, therapists, and church officials, illegally photographing and videotaping persons in a state of undress, and date rape can result in a civil verdict against these predators resulting in an award of monetary damages to the victim. In addition to compensating crime victims for their “actual damages” which may include medical bills, mental health counseling bills, and reimbursement for lost wages, civil court juries in most states can award “punitive” (exemplary) damages against criminal predators as a punishment to deter others from committing these illegal and despicable acts.

Why should anyone file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of a sexual assault? There are several answers to this question. I think, foremost, that by initiating civil litigation against a perpetrator, a crime victim can help regain their sense of control over their environment. Sexual and physical assaults usually leave emotional scars that result in a victim feeling a loss of control over their lives. If a crime victim can move from an inactive and passive state of “victim” to a more active and assertive state of “survivor” they may be able to regain a feeling of independence and control over their own life again. This may be the most compelling of all reasons for pursuing civil litigation against a perpetrator.

Other reasons for pursuing civil litigation against predators include, but are not limited to: (1) exposing individuals who commit these crimes to the public through media coverage and press releases (local news media are most interested in these cases); (2) seeking money damages to assist the victim in obtaining medical and psychological counseling; (3) documenting sexual harassment, assaults, and acts of sexual deviants in the civil court system where they remain on file, in perpetuity.

Kevin Madison is an Austin-based attorney with over 29 years litigation experience and 25 years experience as a judge. He is also a trained Sexual Assault Crime Victim Advocate.  He was the first attorney in Austin to file a civil lawsuit against a rapist and obtained a $1.5 million judgment in 1987. His experience and training as a police officer, police chief, prosecutor and EMT set him apart from most other personal injury attorneys as an advocate for victim rights in the civil justice system. To learn more about Kevin Madison or civil remedies available to victims of sexual assault, visit www.KevinMadison.com or call (512) 708-1650.

New blog

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. I will be posting articles on here that relate to my practice of representing victims of sex crimes. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you. Please email me if you’d like me to consider a story to blog about or to ask a question about something I post.

-Kevin

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