Dear Athena Project Community,
We have an urgent message for victims/survivors of faculty sexual misconduct and harassment at Sonoma Academy.
Per our last update in June of this year, we have been working to establish a claims process consistent with the restorative process in which we have been engaged and that would allow victims/survivors to submit claims for damages from Sonoma Academy’s insurance company without filing a lawsuit or waiving their right to file a lawsuit.
We regret to share that Sonoma Academy, their insurance providers, and their legal representatives have not yet fully committed to such a process.
Furthermore, it has recently come to our attention that Sonoma Academy’s attorneys may assert that any person who was 26 or older on January 1st, 2020 is barred from prosecuting their potential claims in court if they have not filed suit by December 31st, 2022, despite the fact that the California Supreme Court tolled the statute of limitation for all claims for six months during the pandemic. The California Supreme Court’s decision means that we may actually have an additional six months to file suit, but we are being advised that it is best to file now in case the Supreme Court’s tolling order is challenged.
For two and half years the Athena Project has pursued restorative justice and sought to avoid suing Sonoma Academy. However, given the situation we now find ourselves in, the seven core members of the Athena Project will be working with our legal team to file a judicial complaint before December 31, 2022.
If you are a victim of faculty or staff misconduct at Sonoma Academy, here is what you need to know:
- If you were over the age of 26 on January 1st, 2020, and you do not file a lawsuit before December 31st of this year, you could lose your right to ever file a lawsuit. Filling a complaint now preserves your right to take legal action in this matter.
- You are welcome to join the Athena Project in our complaint. We are currently vetting two law firms, both with extensive experience in this area. Whichever law firm we select will represent us collaboratively with our attorney, Larry King.
- If you file a complaint, you can file anonymously as a “Jane Doe.” Your identity could remain confidential with the court’s approval.
- The choice of whether to settle your claim or go on to a trial would be yours alone and would not depend on what other claimants choose to do. Similarly, any settlement offer would be negotiated on an individual basis.
- If you join our complaint, you can later change your mind and withdraw.
- The two law firms we are vetting will work on contingency (meaning that there are no upfront costs to you and that the attorneys are paid out of any settlement or judgment you receive).
- Finally, we are also encouraging those victims/survivors who were under the age of 26 on January 1st, 2020 to consider joining us in filing a complaint at this time. We believe that there is power in collective action. However, if you are in this group, you have until you are 40 to file a lawsuit asserting a claim for sexual abuse of a minor (which is broadly defined and would cover the type of conduct described in the Debevoise report). You may have other claims for which you should consult our attorney or an attorney of your choice.
If you are interested in filing a claim please contact us immediately.
It is critical that we take action before December 31st, 2022 for those victims/survivors who are at risk of the statute of limitations running and barring their claims.
You can speak directly and confidentially with our attorney, Larry King, about any questions or concerns you may have.
- (707) 364-2352
You can also reach out directly to the firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact any of the Athena Project leaders individually.
Clio, Savannah, Miranda, Grace, Linnet, Morgan, Emma