In recent developments, Columbia University has finally taken steps to notify approximately 6,500 patients of ex-gynecologist Robert Hadden about the sexual abuse they endured under his care. This announcement comes on the eve of the Adult Survivors Act lawsuit deadline, leaving survivors with limited time to seek justice. As advocates for survivors, Merson Law, led by founder Jordan Merson, has closely followed these developments and aims to shed light on the shortcomings of Columbia’s $100 million settlement fund.
The Timing and Suspicions:
The timing of Columbia University’s announcement raises eyebrows, occurring just days before the deadline for survivors to file claims under the Adult Survivors Act.
Merson Law firmly believes that justice delayed is justice denied. While Columbia’s $100 million settlement fund might seem substantial at first glance, it translates to approximately $15,000 per victim. According to Jordan Merson, this amount is grossly inadequate considering the trauma and suffering these survivors have endured. In our pursuit of justice, Merson Law contends that survivors deserve full and fair compensation for the harm inflicted upon them.
Columbia’s Settlement Fund: A Bargain or Justice Denied?
Other respected sexual assault lawyers who represent numerous Hadden survivors in various civil cases, have characterized Columbia’s settlement fund as insulting. They argue that the university is attempting to settle these cases on the cheap, implying that this approach does not align with the principles of full justice. Merson Law concurs with this sentiment and stands alongside survivors in their quest for fair compensation.
Encouraging Victims to Seek Legal Representation:
Amidst Columbia’s attempt to establish a settlement fund, Merson Law encourages survivors to reach out to legal professionals rather than participating in what is described as a “private, underfunded settlement process.” Jordan Merson emphasizes the importance of victims asserting their rights and having their voices heard through legal channels.
The Road Ahead: Columbia’s Pledge and Survivor Demands:
Columbia University’s President Minouche Shafik and CUIMC Chief Executive Officer Katrina Armstrong acknowledged the institution’s failure to protect survivors and expressed regret. They stated, “Columbia failed these survivors, and for that, we are deeply sorry.” However, survivors Marissa Hoechstetter and Evelyn Yang, wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, assert that Columbia must do more.
In a joint statement, Hoechstetter and Yang called on Columbia to increase the settlement fund, clarify outreach plans to reach all former Hadden patients before the Adult Survivors Act deadline, and provide regular updates on progress. This demand reflects the survivors’ determination to hold Columbia accountable for the institutional failures that allowed Hadden’s abuse to persist.
Advocating for Justice with Merson Law:
As the founder of Merson Law, Jordan Merson remains committed to advocating for survivors of sexual abuse, ensuring they receive the justice and compensation they deserve. The law firm stands in solidarity with those affected by Hadden’s actions, emphasizing the inadequacy of Columbia’s settlement fund and encouraging survivors to seek legal representation.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by Robert Hadden or another perpetrator, Merson Law is here to help. Our experienced team is dedicated to fighting for the rights of survivors and holding institutions accountable for their failures. Contact Merson Law today for a confidential consultation and let us guide you on the path to justice.
In the pursuit of justice, survivors deserve more than mere compensation; they deserve acknowledgment, accountability, and closure. Merson Law is ready to stand by you every step of the way.