Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP partner Spencer Lucas has been recognized as a 2022 Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer by The National Law Journal. The published list recognizes plaintiff lawyers from across the country who have proven to be born leaders and who are truly agents of change.
As noted in the publication’s profile featuring Mr. Lucas, it was through his pro bono work helping children that he learned how widespread child sexual abuse is. “In 2019, with the passing of California Assembly Bill 218 (allowing a 3-year window to file previously time-barred claims) I began representing many survivors of childhood sexual abuse,” he said. “I vowed to myself to use my platform and experience as a trial lawyer to bring about justice for as many survivors as possible and to inspire institutional change to protect children.”
One of the greatest changes Mr. Lucas has seen in his work with clients who have experienced childhood sexual abuse is the healing that occurs when these brave individuals step forward to tell their story and hold the institutions that allowed the abuse accountable.
“For many of my clients, they have lived with the shame of the abuse and buried down this trauma for literally decades. By coming forward and speaking out they have been able to regain control over a situation where they were once helpless and start a new chapter of healing in their lives,” said Mr. Lucas.
His recent trial of Doe v. Fitness Alliance, resulting in a $13 million jury verdict for a 5-year-old abused at a gym daycare, also changed the way childcare institutions and their insurers view these types of cases. Preventative policies and training are required to prevent child sexual abuse.
“Doe v. Fitness Alliance sets the standard for policies, procedures, and training regarding child sexual abuse in a youth care setting in California,” Mr. Lucas explained, adding, “The non-economic damages award in this trial also sets the bar for these types of cases nationwide. The 100% liability finding on the gym confirms that institutions responsible for childcare can no longer conveniently rely on the argument that the abuse was solely the fault of the perpetrator.”