Child Abuse


firm overview

No one ever wants to see their child hurt, especially if it involves something as serious as physical or sexual abuse. Unfortunately, statistics show that many children become victims of abuse, whether from someone they know at school, a close friend or family member or a stranger they encounter at an activity or center.

Adam Balkan and John Patterson served as prosecutors in the sex crimes/child unit during a portion of their tenure at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office and are aware of the unique challenges involved in child abuse cases.

No matter where the abuse occurs, it’s important to get your child the help they need and deserve following physical or sexual abuse. Speaking with them about that happened and alerting the proper authorities is vital, but you will also want to get a Child Physical and Sexual Abuse attorney on your side to fight for your child’s rights. Unfortunately, many forms of child abuse happen in familiar places and by people your child may interact with on a daily basis. If the abuse happened at a school, religious institution or daycare, it’s imperative to hold the institution liable for their inability to notice and/or stop the abuse from occurring.

Child abuse can range from physical harm to sexual intentions. The types of actions labeled as child sexual or physical abuse include:

  • Sexual acts on a minor
  • Showing sexual images or videos to a child
  • Taking or distributing sexual images and videos of a child
  • Imposing physical harm on a child
  • Forcing a child to enact harm on another
  • Making sexual requests to a minor

Settlement & Verdicts won by Balkan & Patterson

$3,700,000 Combined Settlements – Victims of Child Abuse
Preschool teachers at the Early Child Center of a prestigious church in the Sarasota area were physically abusing children over a long period of time. Abuse included slamming children to the ground, force-feeding them, embarrassing them, etcetera. A school administrator who was told of the abuse by a teacher’s aide declined to act, and told the aide to keep quiet. Multiple families have come forth and there may still be more children yet unidentified who were abused as well, so final settlement is still pending as of early 2008. We estimate the total settlement of these cases to be approximately $3.7 million. The school has since been closed down as a result of our findings.

$225,000 Settlement – Abuse of Special Needs Preschool Student
We were successful in obtaining a $225,000 settlement on behalf of a three-year-old preschool student and their family. The plaintiff was grabbed violently by their arm by the teacher causing marks, which were caught on video. The child’s teacher was arrested and pled guilty. The child’s teacher had prior incidents, although none of them were as significant in comparison to what happened with our client.

$200,000 Settlement – Abuse of Special Needs Student
The personal injury and abuse law firm of Balkan & Patterson successfully secured a settlement of $200,000 for a family whose child was physically abused by his kindergarten teacher at Gulf Elementary School in Lee County, FL. The child, whose name and age are withheld to maintain privacy, is a low functioning, non-verbal special needs student with very limited abilities to communicate. His teacher, Catherine Hile, subjected him to physical violence and abuse, and our investigation uncovered Hile’s history, which showed she was unfit to teach these children.

Confidential Settlement – Abuse of Special Needs Student
A behavioral analyst at a Port St. Lucie elementary school, improperly restrained and abused our client, a young special needs student. The amount of the settlement and additional details of this case are confidential

If your child was a victim of sexual or physical abuse, they deserve to have someone fighting for their rights. The attorneys at Balkan & Patterson know how sensitive this subject can be and how hard it is for many children to come forward and tell someone about their abuse. We will work with you and your family to get the best possible outcome and stop the abuse from happening. For more information, give us a call today at 561-750-9191.