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Child Sexual Assault at a Weight Loss Camp Lawsuit Attorney

Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic, and not just among adults. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 20% of children between the ages of 2 to 19 are struggling with obesity and related health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint problems. Weight loss camps were designed to help kids that are struggling with their weight. In the past, these programs were referred to as fat camps, but the term, “weight loss camp” is preferred by most people nowadays.

Fat camps usually take place in the summer when kids are out of school and able to spend weeks away from home. At a program that’s specially designed for weight loss, they can make friends and enjoy fun activities while learning diet and fitness tips they can use for the rest of their lives. But the camp experience can also create bad memories – ones involving sexual abuse by a camp employee.

Were you or your child sexually abused while staying at a weight loss camp? Legal actions may be available to you, including criminal prosecution and a lawsuit for monetary compensation. To discuss your case with a California fat camp sexual assault lawyer, contact the offices of DTLA Law Group.

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Sexual Assault at Fat Camps for Children

Kids’ weight loss camps play an important role in many people’s lives, and it would be unfair to say that these places do more harm than good. However, we have to confront the fact that the sexual abuse of minors is more than possible at places that are in charge of children for long periods of time. Frankly, these places are targeted by child molesters, who are looking for emotionally vulnerable minors.

Children at fat camps are especially vulnerable, as they generally have low self-esteem due to harassment, bullying, and judgement from their peers, and sometimes, even family members. A weight loss camp may be an escape for these children – a place where they can find love and acceptance.

This is the angle that’s used by many sexual predators in order to groom and abuse an overweight child. After all, counselors, nurses, camp officials, and other employees are supposed to have a close relationship with these kids, similar to teachers at a school. As for the children, many of them are in need of attention from a trusted adult, as they may be spending time away from their parents for the first time. It’s not hard to see how a pedophile could manipulate this situation in their favor.

Sexual Abuse and Its Impact on a Child

When you think of the word “injuries,” what comes to mind? Most likely, you think about physical injuries, like broken bones and lacerations. But this is not always the case with victims of sexual assault, especially at the point where they are adults and finally have the courage to talk about their abuse.

Under California law, victims have the right to sue for the emotional impact of sexual abuse and receive compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other monetary damages. Even if you were sexually assaulted by a weight loss camp employee many years ago, you may still be struggling from the effects of:

  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Depression
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Self-harming behaviors, like burning and cutting oneself
  • Suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders

Our attorneys have decades of experience in suing for non-economic damages on behalf of sex abuse victims and their family members. Please give us a call to learn how we can help you during a free initial consultation.

California Law on Mandatory Reporting of Child Sexual Abuse

Aside from the person that violated you sexually, you may have grounds to sue the weight loss program that employed your abuser. In fact, you may have the right to file criminal charges, in addition to filing a lawsuit for monetary compensation.

California’s mandatory reporting laws obligate adults to reports incidents of child sexual abuse or any other maltreatment of a child. They must also contact the authorities if they did not witness the act, but have suspicions that a child is being sexually abused. Training should be provided by owners of child-focused programs to recognize the signs of physical and sexual abuse. This is done specifically so that those working with children (teachers, nurses, camp counselors, etc.) can call the police or Child Protective Services if there is reason to suspect child abuse or neglect.

Failure to take action upon witnessing, hearing about, or suspecting the sexual abuse of a minor is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail. Furthermore, the victim is entitled to monetary damages from a childhood sexual abuse lawsuit.

Sexual Abuse During Childhood Lawsuit Values

As a general rule, you can expect case values to be in the 6-7 figure range for these cases. In fact, it’s quite common to see payments that exceed $1,000,000, and most of that is based on the victim’s psychological injuries. It’s also important to note that failure by institutions, especially ones that are charged with the care of children, play a big role in the value of a sexual abuse during childhood claim. At our law firm, even cases on the lower end of the spectrum typically result in settlements of $450,000 and above. The highest settlements exceed $3,000,000, which is based on the level of neglect by the defendants, the specific acts of sexual assault, and many other factors.

How Long is the Case Settlement Process? 

Certain cases, like slip and falls and auto accidents, are relatively straightforward due to the physical injuries and property damage sustained by the victim. But injuries are much more complicated with sexual assault incidents. Certainly, a victim can end up with visible injuries, but most of the damage is internal. In addition, some of these incidents occurred many years ago, and it can be quite challenging to uncover records and other evidence to build a solid case.

That’s why 2 or more years is the expected timeline to settle a kids’ weight loss camp sexual assault lawsuit. Sometimes, a settlement is reached within a few months, but most cases take at least a full year of legal actions and negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company.

While legal representation is not required, it’s strongly recommended that you work with an experienced law firm right from the start. The attorneys of DTLA are here for you every step of the way, so contact us immediately if you were sexually abused at a weight loss camp in California.

Time Limit to Sue for Sexual Abuse at a Fat Camp

Several years ago, the California legislature passed a landmark bill known as Assembly Bill 218. Now, adult survivors of sex abuse during childhood have more time than ever to file a sexual abuse lawsuit. Your statute of limitations is based on whichever of these dates comes later:

  • 22 years after turning the age of majority (up until 40 years of age)
  • 5 years from the discovery of sexual abuse during childhood (discovery of evidence or the physical / psychological effects of child abuse)

This law has brought about significant changes to the rights of victims whose cases had previously expired under the old statute of limitations. That’s why you may still have the right to demand justice from the responsible parties, even if you were abused many years ago.

Legal Advice from an Experienced Child Sexual Assault Lawyer

Many victims live with the pain and trauma of sexual assault for many years before they tell someone. As a child, they are afraid that they will be punished, or that no one will believe them if they come forward. Sadly, this is reinforced by other adults and even law enforcement agents, who turn a blind eye or refuse to investigate the incident.

We know how difficult it is to talk about what has happened to you, but please give us a chance to listen to your story and advise you of your legal options. Filing a lawsuit is completely up to you, but it’s impossible to make an informed decision without legal advice from a seasoned sex abuse lawsuit attorney. All you have to do is contact us and schedule a free case evaluation. You can also schedule a free second opinion if you have questions about a sexual assault lawsuit that’s already in progress.

Wherever you are in the legal process, we will provide you with free legal services from start to finish. The Zero Fee Guarantee is our way of ensuring that all legal fees are paid by the defendant. Since we only receive payment by winning your case, you owe us $0 in the event we fail to recover your settlement. For more information on rights and legal options, call us right away to schedule a free case evaluation.


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