Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate Turns to Experts to Pay Accusers


To compensate the dozens of women who have accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse, his estate will try to develop a plan with the lawyer who devised restitution programs for several high-profile disasters and scandals.

The estate on Thursday asked a United States Virgin Islands judge for permission to establish a voluntary resolution program for the late sex offender’s accusers. The judge is overseeing the administration of Mr. Epstein’s $577 million estate.

The program, if approved, would be developed with the help of Kenneth R. Feinberg, who has overseen the payment of tens of billions of dollars in claims to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, the BP oil spill and an ignition problem with vehicles from General Motors.

In a statement, the estate’s executors, Darren Indyke and Richard Kahn, said the proposed program would provide Mr. Epstein’s accusers “the opportunity to obtain appropriate compensation and to be heard and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.”

But lawyers for some women have expressed distrust of the process, saying the plan was presented to a judge without being discussed with the plaintiffs. And at least one woman already intends to bypass any compensation program.

A lawyer for the woman, Jennifer Araoz, who said she was asked to give massages to Mr. Epstein when she was 14 and raped by him a year later, has no intention of discontinuing her lawsuit against the estate.

“Each victim, however, must make an individual decision as to how to best pursue legal remedies for their injuries,” said the lawyer, Daniel Kaiser. “Jennifer has decided that the best legal course of action for her is her court action filed in New York State Court.”

A compensation program could have benefits for the accusers. It would most likely be faster and cheaper than litigating their claims against Mr. Epstein, who committed suicide in August at the Manhattan Correctional Center after his arrest on federal sex-trafficking charges. A compensation program could also minimize the possibility of the estate being hit with large jury awards in individual cases, which could deplete the assets available to compensate other accusers.

Unlike a trial, a compensation program would be confidential, and keep the details of the accusers’ claims out of public view. But it would also limit outside evaluation of the handling of the claims process, and would prevent the release of other information about Mr. Epstein that could be uncovered during litigation.



Source link Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *