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False Accusations of Child Abuse Are Subject to Legal Recourse

New York case could be subject to charges of "gross negligence" despite other immunity laws, court says.

New York
State:
Categories:
S. v. Child & Adolescent Treatment Services, 614 N.Y.S.2d 661 (Sup, 1994)
Key point: Professional counselors who wrongfully accuse a person of child abuse may be subject to legal liability for doing so.

A New York court ruled that a grandmother could sue a professional counselor who falsely accused her of child abuse. Hundreds of thousands of adults are accused each year of child abuse.

Tragically, many of these allegations are true. But some of them are false, and the effects of a false accusation can be devastating. A New York court recently addressed the question of whether a professional counselor who falsely accuses an adult of child abuse can be sued on the basis of negligence for doing so.

A 5-year-old girl complained to her mother that her grandmother had sexually molested her during a recent visit to her home. The mother immediately had her daughter examined, but no physical evidence ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 1995

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