Dr. Reginald Archibald Sex Abuse Lawsuits
2024 Update: Herman Law is representing sexual abuse victims in the ongoing Dr. Archibald lawsuits. While the New York Child Victim Act window is now closed, you may still have options. Don’t wait — contact us today.
A few years ago, horrific stories began emerging about former pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Reginald Archibald sexually abusing many of his child patients for decades while working at the Rockefeller University Hospital in New York City. Investigations and reports indicate that from the 1950s through the 1980s, Dr. Archibald committed child sexual abuse on thousands of his patients, most of whom were boys.
According to some of Dr. Archibald’s victims, Dr. Archibald took naked photos of the boys as he stimulated their genitals, telling them it was part of his treatment while they were under his care. Victims also accuse Dr. Archibald of taking some of his male patients to his private cabin in Canada, where he also abused them. Throughout his career, Dr. Archibald had about 9,000 patients. There may be hundreds of surviving victims of Dr. Archibald’s abuse, now between 40 and 80 years old. Victims are hiring New York sex abuse lawyers Herman Law to seek justice under the New York Child Victims Act.
Rockefeller University Hospital Investigation in 2018 Involving Dr. Reginald Archibald
According to some reports, Rockefeller University Hospital officials knew about Dr. Archibald’s sexual abuse of children as early as the 1960s. In 1961, the New York District Attorney’s office submitted information of Dr. Archibald’s alleged abuse to a grand jury, but charges were never filed against him. According to the hospital’s former physician-in-chief, former patients of Dr. Archibald also notified the hospital with complaints about Dr. Archibald from 1960 to 1974. In 1996, a former patient wrote a letter to the hospital complaining about Dr. Archibald’s abuse during examinations.
Despite numerous complaints and clear warning signs about Dr. Archibald throughout the years, the hospital did little to investigate the claims. As a result, Dr. Archibald was allowed to continue working at the hospital for decades. Dr. Archibald retired from working at the hospital in 1982.
In October 2018, the hospital sent letters to many of Dr. Archibald’s former patients, asking them to contact the hospital with details about inappropriate behavior they may have experienced while under Dr. Archibald’s care. However, the letter did not explain the specific allegations of child sexual abuse against Dr. Archibald. As a result, many of the letter’s recipients learned for the first time that there were other victims. The hospital also released a formal statement, asserting that it had learned of inappropriate behavior by Dr. Archibald and that a 2004 investigation into the accusations was deemed credible. The hospital stated that it “deeply regretted” any “pain and suffering” felt by Dr. Archibald’s patients.
Hundreds of recipients of the letter have now sued the hospital, claiming that the letter triggered traumatic memories of Dr. Archibald’s abuse. The victims have also sued the hospital for failing to do anything about Dr. Archibald’s abuse despite knowing about long-term abuse accusations against him.
Madison Square Boys Club Investigation
Dr. Archibald’s sexual abuse of children was apparently not limited to his employment with the Rockefeller University Hospital. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Dr. Archibald volunteered as a physician at New York City’s Madison Square Boys Club, where he also served as a board member. While volunteering at the club, Dr. Archibald was known to frequent areas where young boys were naked, including the locker room and pool. Club policy at the time required boys to be naked when they swam in the pool. Dr. Archibald’s office was next to the pool, and boys would be lined up naked or wearing only a towel while waiting for Dr. Archibald to examine them.
According to some reports, Dr. Archibald would measure, fondle, and take close-up photographs of the boys’ genitals, or he would require the boys to masturbate while he watched. Known as a “growth specialist” for boys who were unusually small for their age, Dr. Archibald abused his victims under the ruse that he was conducting “research” to try to help them grow taller. One victim, a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor, claimed that Dr. Archibald sexually abused him over a five-year period, traumatizing him to the point that he was never able to marry, have children, or maintain a normal relationship.
Is Dr. Reginald Archibald Still Alive?
Dr. Reginald Archibald began working at the Rockefeller University Hospital (formerly the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research) in 1940 as a visiting investigator. He worked there as an assistant resident physician between 1941 to 1946. After that, Dr. Archibald left the hospital but then returned again in 1948. Beginning in 1948, he worked as a senior physician and university professor until 1980. Dr. Archibald retained his medical privileges at the hospital until 1982, when he retired.
Victims allege that from the 1950s through the 1980s, Dr. Archibald sexually molested hundreds, if not thousands, of his child patients by touching their genitalia, masturbating them, having them masturbate themselves, and taking photographs of them naked.
Dr. Archibald died in 2007. Now, hundreds of child abuse survivors may have the opportunity to sue either his estate, the Rockefeller University Hospital, or the Madison Square Boys Club. The abuse case involving Dr. Reginald Archibald likely extends to hundreds, if not thousands, of victims. Survivors of child sexual abuse by Dr. Reginald Archibald may have the right to recover money damages for the emotional pain and trauma they suffered as a result of the abuse.
Sex Child Abuse State Lawsuit Windows
With the abuse case involving Dr. Reginald Archibald now receiving widespread publicity, abuse victims are starting to come forward. Unfortunately, New York, like many other states, has traditionally maintained laws requiring victims of child abuse to bring forward a lawsuit within a certain number of years from the abuse. The legal term that refers to the time allowed for filing a lawsuit once a claim arises is known as a “statute of limitations.” Previously in New York State, survivors of child abuse had from one to five years after they turned eighteen years old to bring a civil lawsuit against their abusers.
The problem with these time limits is that it sometimes takes many years for victims of child abuse to process, understand, and accept that they were abused. The shame, guilt, and humiliation that a victim suffers may delay the time for the person to speak out and report the abuse. Because children often blame themselves for sexual abuse, some victims may not even be aware that they were abused until they hear about other victims’ experiences. Therefore, a person may not realize he has a claim for child sexual abuse until well after the relevant statute of limitations (deadline to file a lawsuit) has already passed.
Recognizing these facets of child sexual abuse, New York State passed the New York Child Victims Act in August 2019. The New York Child Victims Act allows survivors of child sexual abuse to bring criminal and civil lawsuits against their abusers even if the time to do so had already passed under previous New York law. Thus, the Act allows more time for survivors to sue their abusers for money damages. The Act also has a provision that will enable survivors to sue institutions or entities that knew or should have known about the abuse. In this case, the Rockefeller University Hospital or the Madison Square Boys Club, where Dr. Reginald Archibald is believed to have exploited his victims, could potentially be held liable for the abuse.
For survivors of child sexual abuse whose claims had already lapsed, the New York Child Victims Act effectively allowed for a one-year period from August 2019 for victims to bring suit – this is known as a “revival period” or “lookback window.” However, because of COVID-19, the revival period for the statute of limitations has since been extended to before August 14, 2021. Thus, survivors of sexual child abuse, including those in the abuse case involving Dr. Reginald Archibald, now have until before August 14, 2021, to bring their claims. If you’re a survivor of sexual child abuse by Dr. Reginald Archibald, it is imperative to contact an attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights.
The Act’s revival period is vital for survivors because it now allows them to sue their abusers for money damages in civil lawsuits. The Act also got rid of the former statute of limitations so that, going forward, a victim of child sexual abuse now has until age 55 to file a claim against their abuser.
For criminal claims, the New York Child Victims Act has extended the statute of limitations to allow survivors of child sexual abuse to press charges for felony offenses against their abusers until they are 28 years old. The previous statute of limitations for felony offenses ended when the survivor was 23 years old. In addition, the Act extended the statute of limitations to 25 years old for misdemeanor offenses from the previous statute of limitations of 20 years old.
Since the New York Child Victims Act was passed, more than 5,000 lawsuits related to child abuse claims have been filed in New York courts. In the abuse case involving Dr. Reginald Archibald, victims whose claims were previously barred can now come forward to protect their legal rights. But, again, the deadline to bring a civil lawsuit for damages is before August 14, 2021, so former patients of Dr. Archibald should contact an attorney immediately if they believe they were victims of Dr. Archibald’s abuse.
How can I file a New York Child Victims Lawsuit?
If you were a victim of abuse by Dr. Reginald Archibald, either as a patient at the Rockefeller University Hospital or as a member of the Madison Square Boys Club, you have the right to pursue a legal claim in court to recover damages for your suffering. If you feel that you have suffered from any symptoms as a result of Dr. Archibald’s abuse, you may have a legal case. Symptoms and lingering trauma of child sexual abuse include suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, inability to maintain normal relationships, and sexual dysfunction. If you have suffered from any of these or other related ailments, please contact Herman Law to schedule your initial consultation. We are here to help and can discuss your legal options with you. Consultations are free and confidential.
The deadline for filing claims was August 14, 2021, but you may still have options to pursue justice. Contact a New York sex abuse attorney immediately to learn your legal rights.