On July 19, 2019, Taylor | Anderson, LLP attorneys Paul Buckley and Zachary Rutman obtained summary judgment on behalf of several board members and the executive director of a boys’ group home in Washington state. 


Plaintiff alleged he was sexually abused at the boys' group home some time from 1980 to 1982. In 2017, he sued members of the home's board of directors and the executive director for allegedly failing to supervise him -- claims that have been vigorously disputed.


In response to written discovery, Plaintiff denied he had ever filed a lawsuit or claim relating to the alleged abuse at the boys' group home. However, Buckley and Rutman would go on to uncover evidence that Plaintiff had actually sued the State of Washington in 2001, alleging he was the victim of sexual abuse at a certain boys' home. After filing the lawsuit, Plaintiff had realized he had sued the incorrect party. In 2002, that lawsuit was dismissed.


At Plaintiff's deposition, Rutman confronted him about his prior lawsuit. He also elicited an admission from Plaintiff that his injuries in 2001 were the same injuries he is claiming now. Under oath, Plaintiff also conceded that he took no action from 2002 to 2017 -- a span of 15 years -- to further investigate his claims against the facility.


Washington’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims is extremely generous and is usually triggered when an abuse victim connects their psychological injuries to the sexual abuse. See Wash. Rev. Code § 4.16.340. Even if a victim admits to connecting his injuries to the abuse years prior, Washington case law has held that a victim may still pursue a lawsuit if the claimed injuries are qualitatively different. 


In briefing and at the hearing, Plaintiff argued that his claims are not barred because he suffered new injuries (or did not understand the full extent of his injuries in 2001.)


After considering these arguments and Plaintiff’s admission that his injuries were practically the same, the Court granted summary judgment against Plaintiff and held that Plaintiff’s claims are time-barred. The Court dismissed all defendants.