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Opinion piece

Opinion Piece: Institutions of good will should not fear abuse bill

Letter to the editor, published in The News Journal, April 4, 2007

Institutions of good will should not fear abuse bill For those organizations that fear the retroactive provisions of SB 29, the child sexual-abuse victims bill, consider these two facts: First, public and private institutions that have historically done their due diligence toward protecting children in their care have little to fear. The institutional policies, procedures and practices in play at the time of the alleged abuse are evidence of an entity’s corporate good will … or lack thereof. Second, as with all civil cases, suits brought forward for which there is no tangible evidence will be quickly dismissed by summary judgment with no civil trial. This fact belies the specter of bankruptcy painted by attorneys, insurers and others. “Gross negligence” is a formidable legal claim to prove. But, if indeed there is evidence of an institution’s “gross negligence” in a case of sexual abuse, it would be “inherently unfair” not to hold such an organization accountable for its prior bad acts.

Paula Welldon, Hockessin

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