​Sexual & Physical Assault

Giving voice to the injustice, anger and pain suffered by victims.


Victims of sexual or physical assault suffer a wide range of serious physical and emotional injuries that can, unfortunately, last a lifetime. While the law in Massachusetts cannot undo the damage caused by such assaults, it does give victims meaningful ways not just to obtain compensation, but to hold accountable those responsible for the damage done. 

The personal injury lawyers at SUGARMAN have for years represented victims of sexual and physical assaults in a wide range of factual scenarios which have in many respects been on the cutting edge of tort law. These cases have brought victims the monetary compensation they are entitled to under the law, as well as giving voice to the injustice, anger and pain suffered by the victims in the context of a civil lawsuit prosecuted and controlled by the victims.

Victims of assaults are often victimized not just by the abuser but by the negligence of those employing or controlling the abuser. In other words, while there may only be one abuser, there are a range of responsible people and entities that can, with careful and aggressive legal work, be held accountable for the damage done by the abuser. SUGARMAN lawyers are in a class of lawyers that have regularly and successfully handled such cases.

Cases involving sexual assault on a minor child represent one type of case that SUGARMAN's lawyers have frequently handled. For example, when a school bus driver raped a special needs student instead of taking her to school, SUGARMAN lawyers successfully pursued a claim against the school bus company. In another case, our lawyers were able to obtain damages from a hotel and security service company where a security guard sexually assaulted a minor hotel guest. In these cases and others, our lawyers were able to hold both the employer of the perpetrator and the perpetrator responsible, overcoming the traditional Massachusetts rule that an employer is not responsible for the intentional misconduct by an employee.

SUGARMAN's lawyers also regularly represent adults who have suffered injuries as a result of sexual or physical assault. Cases our lawyers have handled involve landlords, property owners, hotels, security companies and others providing inadequate security leading to a sexual or other violent crime. Assaults and other inappropriate touching by medical providers represent another category of cases in which SUGARMAN attorneys have recovered for injuries caused by such egregious breaches of proper care and trust.

SUGARMAN's experience has also borne witness to the fact that even our seniors are not safe from being injured by sexual and physical assailants. We have represented nursing home residents who have been victims of sexual and physical assault, and as with our cases involving assaults on minors, have been successful in holding nursing home employers accountable for wrongful and intentional acts committed on residents by nursing home employees. Our personal injury lawyers also recognize the risk of sexual assault by other caretakers for seniors, and are familiar with the issues in holding a staffing agency or other caretaker employer accountable for damages for a sexual or physical assault.

SUGARMAN lawyers know that the damages done by assaults of this nature are profound, yet difficult to quantify or describe. We are versed in the full range of emotional and mental injuries that frequently accompany a sexual or other assault. Our lawyers have the experience and resources to fully present these injuries by developing the evidence and using expert consultation and testimony. Just as important, we represent victims of sexual assault having regard for the particular and special mental and emotional issues which sexual assault brings upon these victims.

Physical Assault

Although these cases are often difficult due to a lack of insurance coverage for intentional torts such as assault, SUGARMAN's lawyers have successfully brought claims against legally responsible third parties such as bars, taverns, and liquor servers where the assailant has been over-served alcohol contributing to the assault.

Real Cases

Assetta, et al. v. Safety Ins. Co., 43 Mass. App. Ct. 317 (1997)

SUGARMAN lawyers won an arbitration award for a woman after she was struck in the face and injured by a bottle thrown out of a moving vehicle, by that vehicle's operator. The arbitration occurred after a successful appeal by SUGARMAN lawyers. The Appeals Court held that the incident did arise out of the use of a motor vehicle and, as a result, the plaintiff was entitled to underinsured motorist benefits under the Massachusetts Auto Policy.

Sexual Assault

Sadly, we too often investigate cases involving sexual assault or abuse. Victims can range from minor children to elderly residents of nursing homes. In some cases, our lawyers were able to hold both the employer and the perpetrator responsible, overcoming the traditional Massachusetts rule that an employer is not responsible for the intentional misconduct by an employee.

Real Cases

Sexual assault by school van driver

Settlement from the driver's employer after a 13-year-old special-needs student was sexually assaulted by her school van driver.

Sexual assault in hotel

13-year-old boy on school field trip assaulted by hotel security guard. Settlement with hotel and security service.

Hospital negligence

Settlement against a hospital for a 12-year-old girl who suffered psychiatric injuries after she was coerced into unwanted sexual behavior with two female roommates in a locked child psychiatric unit.