Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: What are the REAL settlement numbers?

While there are documented compensation payouts regularly advised in the press, in many cases the real story of compensation lies safely under the cloak of confidentiality.

It has been our firms experience that a number of institutions responsible for the organisations where sexual abuse has occurred, have made  what we would consider most inappropriate proposals of “quick compensation” at a price far below the damages that could be rightfully claimed. These approaches are also often accompanied by agreements seeking both confidentiality as to the terms, and an indemnity to no longer pursue the given institution.  Often those victims are vulnerable, both financially and emotionally, and sign up.

Compensation to victims is formulaic. It consists of past medical expenses, future medical expenses for medical treatment, an amount for non-economic loss (pain and suffering) and economic loss past and future . Often times, victims come from circumstances where their expectations of both education and a career are dashed by the impact of childhood abuse, and they never fulfil what would be considered to be the likely trajectory of their work life and living standard.  Under these circumstances, the compensation one would expect can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, or into millions given the abuse and the impact on the individual.

Koffels too are always mindful of the confidentiality of agreements reached.  They are both lawful and often bound by the Court as agreed by all the parties.  One thing they hide however, is the standard of compensation genuinely being reached. Between 1980 and Feb 2015 the Catholic Church advised the Royal Commission that it paid out an average of $91,000 per claim. This included compensation, treatment, legal and other costs.

Compensation today, has moved to a new level.

As leading advocates for victims of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, Koffels Solictors & Barristers have successfully negotiated settlements that adequately compensate the victims for the abuse and the effect upon their lives. We are currently taking action for victims against over 20 Institutions.

While the amounts agreed to be paid by the some of the Institutions remain confidential, victims who have been subject to sexual abuse and have suffered as a result of these assaults, can often expect settlements ranging from $500,000 to $2 million +.  Settlements will be reached on clear foundations of the proven and justified impact on our clients.  These are the amounts that are genuinely fair.

Settlements are not made up of a figure taken out of the air; they need to be representative of the calculated financial impact of injury.  Real compensation can make a genuine difference in assisting victims with an improved quality of life, a life they might have otherwise aspired to before their abuse.  It doesn’t take away what happened, but it can provide vindication and the chance to move forward with their lives.


Ross Koffel