There are a handful of states, New Jersey and Mississippi are two of about seven, which have enacted laws which give civil immunity to charitable organizations for negligent and even criminal behavior.

It seems sort of hard to believe, but it’s true. A judge in New Jersey recently ruled that his hands were tied by the law. He was hearing a case in which a school hired a series of pedophiles (like more than a dozen pedophiles) over the course of decades and these men abused scores of kids. The judge ruled that, regardless of the facts, the school could not be held liable for any behavior “no matter how willful, wanton, reckless or even criminal…”

Finally, at least in New Jersey, state Senator Joe Vitale has introduced legislation to do away with immunity for charities when children are sexually abused.

But unbelievably, the Senator’s legislation is facing stiff opposition from senators heavily lobbied by special interest groups who are worried about “opening the floodgates of litigation.”

We need your help. I am hoping that readers of this forum will e-mail senators in New Jersey expressing their support for the change in New Jersey’s law.

You do not have to be a resident of New Jersey – we think that volumes of e-mail in favor of Senator Vitale’s legislation will help get the law changed.

Here are the e-mail addresses of senators on the Judiciary Committee.

sengill@njleg.org,senbaer@njleg.org,
senmartin@njleg.org,senscutari@njleg.org,
senadler@njleg.org,sensarlo@njleg.org,
senbsmith@njleg.org,senkyrillos@njleg.org,
sengirgenti@njleg.org,sencardinale@njleg.org


Please, help us change the law in New Jersey to bring the state into the 21st century. Please e-mail me if you would like more information or if you’d like the addresses so that you can e-mail the senators.

I am so hopeful that everyone who reads this forum will participate in this.

If anyone would like more information, my e-mail address is jwh@crosslink.com

Please see also a post in this discussion forum titled "Thanks Mark Crawford and Richard Gartner". These two fine men testified at the New Jersey Senate Judiciary hearing on this legislation last week.