Call or Text Us 503-222-6333

How a doctor + a camera = $190 million dollars – Part 2

Part 2 of a 2-part series that originally appeared in the Legal Examiner. 

The real cost of a lawsuit

Sex abuse cases are very difficult for victims – and for the people helping them.

They’re second only to death claims as the most difficult cases for a law firm to take on.

Obviously, the main concern is the victims. But don’t think this is easy for their legal team. For each case, attorneys and paralegals spend hours and hours over many months to gather the (legally required) information. They read thousands of pages of medical records, prepare photographs and video exhibits, contact clients and defense counsel, interview witnesses, and take recorded statements.

In this case, one firm alone interviewed about 2,000 former patients. There are 8,000 involved in the suit. The law firms will now spend years sorting this out.

It’s a second-hand experience of a very traumatic event, over and over and over.

Aside from the toll of the work, it’s hugely expensive to mount even one lawsuit.

It’s often years before the firm gets paid: they front the costs of mounting a lawsuit (which are significant), and pay the lawyers, the paralegals, secretaries, administrators in the meantime – in addition to the basic costs to keep an office going.

Yes, the law firms will be paid for their time and expenses. If they weren’t, who would help these victims?

What happens to the $190 million?

The law firms will create a damages matrix, which is as complex as it sounds.

Each plaintiff will be interviewed individually, and have her medical records examined by lawyers and psychologists.

Each will be placed into one of four categories, depending on the trauma level. The funds will be distributed accordingly, for the estimated future mental and physical care, based on the trauma level.

The judge approved this settlement and distribution plan. A second hearing is set for October 2, and will address legal fees and expenses of any settlement.

This may sound like a cold, calculating way to resolve individual traumas. And it is – by necessity.

There is no reparation here: no one can undo these violations, or repair the damage to the victims and to the community.

Money is the only common language we have with corporations. No criminal charges will be filed against Johns Hopkins. Its corporate press releases about “regret” and “moving forward” are nice, but they don’t help the thousands of people affected.

Monetary compensation is the only tool we have to get justice. And using it is the best way we have to ensure that this won’t happen again.

Part 2 of a 2-part series that originally appeared in the Legal Examiner. 

Previous Blog Posts:


1050 SW 6th Ave #1100
Portland, OR 97204


4230 Galewood St #200
Lake Oswego, OR 97035


750 NW Charbonneau St #201
Bend, OR 97701


1220 Main St #400
Vancouver, WA 98660

Accessibility Toolbar