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Rockefeller University Hospital Sexual Abuse Letters Result in Unique Victim Class Action Lawsuit

In late 2018, Rockefeller University Hospital, a high-profile New York City research hospital, mailed letters to thousands of possible child abuse victims. The letters asked the recipients to describe interactions they had with Dr. Reginald Archibald, who treated more than 9,000 patients during his 40-year tenure at Rockefeller. One of those letters was sent to Jeffrey Poppel on October 4, 2018. The letter triggered Poppel into reliving his long buried memories of sexual abuse at the hands of Archibald.

As a result, the letter also set in motion a unique legal tactic. Poppel is now claiming in a class action lawsuit that the letter itself triggered horrific memories and experiences of sexual abuse by, Archibald, one of the hospital’s most esteemed doctors. The suit was filed on the first day Gov. Cuomo signed into law the New York’s Child Victims Act, which extends the window in which victims of child sex abuse could file civil lawsuits.

Details of the Lawsuit Against Rockefeller University Hospital

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that Archibald, now deceased but who lived for years in Westchester County, sexually abused children he treated for stunted growth. The suit further alleges that Archibald would fondle his young patients during exams and photograph them naked. Archibald died in 2007, 20 years after he retired from Rockefeller.

Poppel’s suit further claims that the letters sent by Rockefeller University Hospital triggered him into reliving his experiences with Archibald, a trauma that left him with weeks of sleepless nights. The letter’s language suggested to Poppel that he may not have been the only one sexually abused by Archibald- that he in fact was possibly part of a factory of child sexual abuse.

We, at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C., do not believe that a class action lawsuit is the appropriate forum for bringing a claim against Rockefeller University. In a class action lawsuit, the damages are the same for every individual that is part of the class. In circumstances presented by the egregious acts by Dr. Archibald and his employer, Rockefeller University Hospital, no two experiences are the same. Therefore, we believe that you should consult with an attorney who will fight for your individual rights.

The Child Victims Act Provides Relief

Child Abuse lawyerOn February 14, 2019, the Child Victims Act was signed into law, extending by five years (to age 28 from 23) New York’s statute of limitations that allows victims of felony child sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits. The law also provides a one-year, one-time only period to seek civil action, regardless of how long ago the abuse happened.

The law includes a caveat that institutes a six-month hold after the law is signed before anyone can file a suit under the new law.

Poppel’s attorneys intend to amend their lawsuit after the six-month moratorium. The lawsuit will be against Archibald’s estate and Rockefeller University Hospital for various claims, including sexual abuse.

NYC Child Sex Abuse Attorney

If you or a loved one has been the victim of child sexual abuse, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Although no amount of money will undo the harm caused, it can bring a sense of justice and closure for victims. For more information or to consult with an experienced NYC child sex abuse attorney, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-646-798-1535.

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Jeff Korek

Jeff S. Korek

Senior Trial Partner​

Jeff S. Korek joined Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. in 1992 as the Senior Trial partner. Known for his meticulous preparation and dedication to his clients, Jeff has obtained some of the state’s highest verdicts and settlements.