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July 16th, 2020

Parkland, Palisades School Districts Sued for Allowing Sexual Abuse of 5 Students by Former Teacher

Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan represents five women who suffered traumatic abuse at Southeastern PA high schools; other victims urged to come forward

PHILADELPHIA (July 15, 2020) – Philadelphia attorneys Guy D’Andrea, Stewart Ryan, and Alexandria MacMaster of Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, LLP today announce the filing of a lawsuit against Parkland School District and Palisades School District on behalf of their clients, five women who suffered devastating and traumatic sexual and emotional abuse while enrolled at the districts’ high schools. The unnamed women, Jane Does 1, 2 and 3, all attended Parkland High School, while Jane Does 4 and 5 attended Palisades High School.

The lawsuit seeks to hold both Parkland and Palisades accountable for failing the plaintiffs and other students by exposing them to easily avoidable abuse and mistreatment at the hands of Christian Willman, a now-former teacher who was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for the sexual abuse.

The lawsuit alleges that Willman’s conduct was known to both districts while he was a teacher at Parkland and Palisades, respectively. The lawsuit further alleges that Willman abruptly left Parkland after being caught by students meeting in secret with yet another female student and confronted by a fellow employee—information uncovered only after Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan began investigating the case. Willman then went on to Palisades and abused more students.

According to attorney Stewart Ryan, “People rightfully expect children to be safe in school. In the wake of the Sandusky scandal and the current environment, there is no possible explanation for these schools to fail so spectacularly at stopping and preventing this sort of sexual abuse from occurring. Willman was allowed to go from school to school after he was already suspected of abusing children. This cannot and should not ever happen if adults who are tasked with protecting our children follow the simple safety rules already in place. Our clients are showing tremendous courage by standing together to try to ensure this never happens again.”

Anyone with information about Parkland, Palisades, or Willman or who has been victimized themselves can call the law firm’s hotline at 800-220-7600. For more information, contact Guy D’Andrea or Stewart Ryan directly at 800-220-7600, sryan@laffeybucci.com or GDAndrea@laffeybucci.com.

Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, LLP is a personal injury law firm representing individuals seriously injured due to the negligence of others. The trial lawyers at Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan have a long history of fighting for victims of crime, especially survivors of physical and sexual abuse, through lawsuits in the civil justice system. For more information, go to www.laffeybucci.com.