Appellate Court Allows Sexual Abuse Claims against USA Taekwondo to Proceed
October 11, 2019
A state appeals court reversed a California Superior Court’s decision to dismiss defendant USA Taekwondo from a case alleging that the organization was negligent in failing to prevent a coach from sexually abusing minors. Former USA Taekwondo coach Marc Gitelman was convicted on sex abuse charges and sentenced to over four years in prison in connection with raping three youth taekwondo athletes between 2007 and 2013.
The plaintiffs in the instant case, Yazmin Brown we al. v. USA Taekwondo et al., claim that USA Taekwondo knew since the 1980s that child sex abuse was happening within their organization. In spite of this, the organization negligently opted not to address Gitelman’s conduct. The three-judge appeals panel remanded the case to the lower court, where the plaintiffs’ negligence claims will survive.
The lower court in the same case found Gitelman responsible for $60 million in damages to the three plaintiffs. Dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims against the U.S. Olympic Committee was affirmed by the appellate court.
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