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Sexual Abuse and Molestation at Daycare and Childcare Centers


It is a tragic truth that many workers in the child care industry take advantage of their positions of power to molest, sexually abuse and rape innocent children. The North Carolina sex abuse attorneys at Maginnis Law are experienced in handling such claims and can help your family pursue justice against the perpetrator and any other negligent persons. Our firm recently recovered $1.13 Million for a child who was sexually abused at a daycare center. Our lawyers will also be sure that any lawsuit involving your child is filed “under seal” using a pseudonym such as Jane or John Doe. This step helps ensure that your child’s privacy is protected.

The abuse often happens many times before the person is caught. Although daycare centers, pre-schools, and other entities are supposed to fully vet and investigate their employees, as well as closely supervise and monitor them, many do a poor job. Workers with a checkered history, even those with a history of abuse, can sometimes be given access to children at North Carolina childcare businesses. Similarly, there are other occasions when employees who do not have a history of sexual abuse are simply not adequately monitored by their superiors even despite red flag type events, and as a result, engage in reprehensible and criminal behavior with minors. In either event, the molestation victim not only has a right to expect prosecution of the criminal but also to pursue monetary damages through a civil lawsuit. To speak with our lead daycare sex abuse attorney, T. Shawn Howard, call the firm at 919.526.0450 or visit our contact page to submit a confidential case inquiry. Shawn Howard is a multi-occasion “million dollar advocate,” in part because of his work recovering a million dollar plus resolution for a victim of sexual abuse at a daycare center.

Identity of Defendants in a Civil Action for Sexual Abuse

In a typical North Carolina daycare abuse case, there are at least two defendants but sometimes more. For example, possible defendants include: (a) the perpetrator of the crime, (b) the perpetrator’s manager(s) who failed to supervise him or her, and (c) the owner(s) of the childcare center which employed the perpetrator. The claim against the actual abuser seldom leads to any actual financial recovery. On most occasions, these individuals have no meaningful assets of their own, and insurance policies almost never cover intentional conduct. The far more important claims are those against the negligent manager(s) and/or the entity which employed the abusive individual. The negligence claims against these parties for failure to properly supervise or for negligent hiring can lead to significant verdicts that can be covered by applicable insurance policies under the right circumstances.

Damages Recoverable for Sexual Abuse Harms and Losses

A child victim of sexual abuse is entitled to ask a North Carolina jury for significant damages for those responsible for his or her abuse. This includes asking for compensation for any mental health therapy that might be needed, any doctors bills related to the physical trauma, as well compensation for past and future physical and mental pain and suffering. In rape and molestation cases, the mental suffering is often the most important component. The psychological impact of abuse can last a lifetime and can be, at times, emotionally debilitating. The jury verdicts in these types of cases can be tremendous, as juries seem to have a good understanding of the lifetime impact associated with rape and molestation.

A victim is also entitled to seek punitive damages against the actual abuser. These are damages that a jury can award for no purpose other than to punish the abuser and to serve as a deterrent for the entire community. One Georgia jury allowed a $1,000,000,000 (that’s billion, not million) verdict in a sexual abuse case – primarily as a deterrent from other individuals engaging in the same type of behavior.

Choosing a Lawyer

It is important when your child has been abused to select an attorney experienced in handling claims involving sexual abuse. Maginnis Howard attorney Shawn Howard is a multi-occasion “million dollar advocate,” in part because of his work recovering a million dollar plus resolution for a victim of sexual abuse at a daycare center. Put simply, firm understands and appreciates the complexity of these cases. One such complexity is the frequent use of sexual abuse exclusions in general commercial liability insurance contracts held by North Carolina child daycare centers. These exclusions can be used to deny coverage to the innocent victim. Our Raleigh lawyers are familiar with such exclusions and will work to try to tailor your child’s claim such that it fits within the terms of the policy. Often times this can be the difference between recovering nothing for your child and recovering a significant verdict or settlement. This is because in many cases the childcare center is a franchise that would not otherwise have sufficient assets to compensate for the harms caused by its negligence.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please visit our contact page to reach out to us. We handle sexually abuse cases across North Carolina and do so on a contingency fee basis – meaning that there are no attorneys’ fees unless a recovery is obtained on your child’s behalf.