Diocese of St. Petersburg Sexual Abuse Lawyer

December 22, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

When victims began making public accusations against Catholic priests, even non-Catholics reacted with shock and disbelief. The abuse survivors have been telling their stories for several decades now, and the horrible truths are still unfolding.

Priests allegedly sexually abused children in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and dioceses across the country. Some victims have yet to report their personal experiences. Others have received settlements for their longstanding emotional and psychological injuries.

A Pennsylvania grand jury investigation triggered a new wave of activity when they published their report about five years ago. The 1,356-page document contained supporting evidence from six Pennsylvania dioceses with churches in 54 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties.

The grand jury concluded that Catholic priests molested over 1,000 children in the state. Many of the alleged offenders had ties to other dioceses. As a result of their findings and the high number of victims documented, other states have renewed their investigative efforts.

In Florida, the Attorney General has invited anyone with knowledge about past abuses to tell what they know. This allows survivors to share their stories and receive compensation for their injuries. To learn more, contact our Diocese of St. Petersburg Sexual Abuse Lawyers today.

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Why Choose Our Diocese of St. Petersburg Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Dolman Law Diocese of St. Petersburg Sexual Abuse Lawyer Team standing and sitting behind large table

Selecting Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, for your Diocese of St. Petersburg sexual abuse claim is a crucial decision. Never hesitate to entrust Dolman Law Group with your sensitive matters. We regularly navigate the unique complexities of sexual abuse claims involving the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

The legal professionals at Dolman Law Group approach sexual abuse cases with the Diocese of St. Petersburg with utmost compassion, recognizing the emotional toll on survivors. Attorneys conduct comprehensive investigations, collaborating with experts to gather evidence that strengthens the survivor's case against the Diocese.

Dolman Law Group maintains a client-centered approach, ensuring survivors actively participate in the legal process and receive personalized attention. The legal team is adept at negotiating fair settlements but is also prepared to litigate aggressively against the Diocese of St. Petersburg when necessary, providing tailored advocacy.

Choosing Dolman Law Group for your Diocese of St. Petersburg sexual abuse claim ensures you have a compassionate and experienced legal ally committed to advocating for your rights and well-being throughout the legal process against the institution.

Abuse Victims Deserve Fair Compensation

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Accident Injury Lawyers, we believe responsible parties must pay for the damages they cause. If you are a survivor of Catholic priest abuse, we realize that you've already had a long and difficult journey. Our St. Petersburg sexual abuse attorneys recognize that cases such as yours involve highly sensitive situations.

We have experience working with sensitive issues and protecting our client's privacy. We've made the process as uncomplicated as possible. We believe that you have the right to recover damage no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Our personal injury attorneys understand the complex challenges of proving decades-old allegations. We've used our experience and resources to produce the best outcomes for our clients.

Our Firm's Results

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We've resolved personal injury cases by implementing the most beneficial resolution methods for our injured clients. Our attorneys have negotiated cases directly with responsible parties and their insurers. We've resolved claims through alternative dispute resolution. We've presented our clients ' evidence in court when litigation was our best recourse for damage recovery.

Our results illustrate our firm's commitment to producing the best outcomes for our clients, though each case is unique, and past results do not guarantee future outcomes in any particular case.

The Priest Abuse Scandal

It's now common knowledge that adults across the country have alleged that priests abused them when they were children. Evidence that the church has deemed credible shows that abusive practices went on for years uninterrupted. Priests allegedly groped, raped, sodomized, photographed, and committed other criminal acts with girls but mostly with boys. Their targets included adolescents, teenagers, and children as young as four years old. Their victims also included adult seminary students.

A Longstanding, Nationwide Problem

Documents, narratives, and other investigative evidence show that the problem was widespread and continued unabated for decades. That's primarily because cardinals, bishops, and others with the ability to intervene allegedly chose to protect the Catholic Church instead. In doing so, they sacrificed innocent children while protecting their priests.

Decades have passed since the first brave survivors publicly accused priests of sexual abuse. As some of the abused children and their families had previously reported the claims to the church, the public accusations were sometimes the second or third notices of the incidents.

Years passed before many victims found the courage to come forward to tell their stories. They mostly had only memories of what happened. This made it easier for church authorities to continue denying responsibility while rejecting victims' claims.

Church Records Produce Credible Evidence

Despite their denials of culpability, the church documented many abuse events not long after they occurred. When families reported a problem, church bishops and other church leaders allegedly counseled families to remain quiet.

In the meantime, they collected and filed away priests' personal letters and documents. They removed priests from duty and sent them for counseling. They transferred priests to other dioceses and documented the process.

Years later, these clandestine efforts made it possible to validate some victims' claims.

Diocese of St. Petersburg Cases

Victim accounts of abuse have described disheartening scenarios where priests abused their authority. As the problem was widespread, it should come as no surprise that some of the alleged incidents occurred within the Diocese of St. Petersburg. More recently, the Catholic Church has adopted a spirit of cooperation.

The Diocese of Petersburg website lists 16 names of priests and lay employees they consider credibly accused individuals. As the Diocese's list explains, they didn't include the names of credibly accused, “priests of other dioceses and priests of religious communities.”

BishopAccountability.org provides a complete list that includes seven additional names that aren't on the St. Petersburg list. They were involved in incidents in the Diocese but the diocese did not claim them as priests.

  • Jorge Acosta, a Salesian Order priest: Acosta admitted having sexual relations with three students in 1983. Two men filed suits because of his actions.
  • Richard J. Allen, priest: A victim accused Allen of abuse when the child was 12 or 13. The church suspended his privileges in 2002. Victims received a portion of the settlement funds outlined in Bishop's letter. No criminal charges.
  • Russell Gerald Applebee, deceased, priest, Missionaries of the Holy Family: Victims accused Applebee in 1994. He left St. Petersburg in 1979. The order paid the victim's therapy fees. Applebee was convicted of abuse charges in Texas and Florida.
  • Norman G. Balthazar, priest: The church settled with a man who claimed Balthazar abused him at Christ the King Church in the 80s. There were additional abuse accusations from 1971. He faced criminal charges in 1991 for soliciting a minor in Tampa. The charges were dismissed.
  • Mathew Berko, deceased, priest: Berko abused a girl at the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of St. Josaphat of Parma in Toronto, Canada. He also had molestation charges filed against him in Connecticut in 1985. He was a pastor at the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Diocese of St. Petersburg until his removal in 2002.
  • Polienato Bernabe, priest: Bernabe worked in the St. Petersburg diocese from 1975 to 1989. He faced accusations of repeated rapes (1978 to 1986) of a child beginning when the child was eight years old. He was a Palm Beach Diocese priest 1992 to 1994 and an Army Chaplain in Ogdensburg, NY, 1989-91. The Diocese of St. Petersburg settled with a woman victim in 2003. Bernabe eventually left the country.
  • William Michael Burke, Salesian Order priest: Alleged abuses from 1986 to 1987 while a Brother. Ordained in 1993. Worked in a New York religious center until 2002.
  • John Casula, Salesian Order priest: Casula worked at Mary Help of Christians boarding school in Tampa. A lawsuit alleges he abused a boy aged 12 to 14 years old. Ten students alleged abuse at school by others. The school eventually closed.
  • Innocente Clementi, deceased, Salesian Order priest: Boys at Mary Help of Christians school accused Clementi of abuse. The church settled their cases.
  • Ramon Hernandez, Cuban priest: Hernandez relocated to the United States in 1980. In 2006 accused of abuse in 1999 at St. Rita's. No criminal charges. Disappeared while the Diocese was reviewing his case.
  • Thomas J. Hidding, deceased: Accused of molesting a student at Jesuit High School in Tampa between 1980 and 1982 when he was a Jesuit brother. Accusation deemed “credible.” Relocated to Dallas, Texas High School, 1982 to 1983.
  • James C. Laram priest: A 14-year-old girl accused Lara of abusing her in 1987. Her mother was the church music director. The parents accused Lara of hitting the mother and slandering both parents. The suit resolved in 1990. Lara continued working until retirement in 1999.
  • William A. Lau, priest: A victim accused Lau of a sexual act when he was a teenager in 1996.
  • Ronald J. Luka, priest: Three boys accused him of abuse while at a Fort Lauderdale Catholic school. Other students alleged abuses over a 20-year period from his time in New York. The church settled at least one suit.
  • Nicholas Mcloughlin, priest of the Diocese of Venice, formerly of St. Petersburg: The Diocese suspended Mcloughlin in 2018 due to alleged 1970s incidents with a minor. He was also accused of covering up his brother's (Ed Mcloughlin) abuses, which allegedly occurred while he was a priest from 1980 to 1990.
  • Terrence O'Donnell, Salesian Order priest: Three boys accused O'Donnell of abuses at Mary Help of Christians Catholic School in Tampa. He relocated to the Boston Boys and Girls Club. The Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitation investigated him but filed no criminal charges.
  • Thomas Mulryan, Brother Congregation of Holy Cross: Three boys accused Mulryan of abuse during the 1960s while at a school in Rome. He also worked at Catholic schools in Massachusetts and New York and at Jesuit High School in Tampa in 1988. He denied previous allegations. There were no known allegations during assignments in the United States. He retired in 1995.
  • Hubert J. Reason, deceased: “Credible accusations” made in 2002 from boys in Tampa. They alleged abuse and also alleged that Reason gave them alcohol and money. The Diocese settled three claims in 2005.
  • Michael Rhodes, priest: Two minor boys accused Rhodes of abuse in the 1970s. He left the church in 1993.
  • Norman Rogge, deceased, Jesuit priest: Criminal charges: Contributing to the delinquency of a minor, 1967; Sexual battery, 1985 (14-year-old victim). Rogge also worked in Texas, California, Kansas, Alabama, and Louisiana.
  • Robert Schaeufele, priest: Schaeufele was convicted of abuse charges in 2003 and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The church documented 22 or more known victims. The Diocese settled cases with 12 men.
  • Jeremiah Spillane, priest, Legion of Christ: Spillane was a Chaplain at a Catholic High School in the Diocese of Venice. He was convicted in 1997 of internet solicitation of a minor boy. He admitted to prior abuses in Mexico.
  • Ignatius Tuoc, priest, Vietnamese Diocese: A female parishioner accused Tuoc of abusing her when she was a minor in the 1990s.

Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups Are Common in the Church

Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups in the Church

Learning that various churches and religious organizations, such as the Diocese of St. Petersburg, committed harmful sexual abuse acts to those who attended their churches is disturbing.

However, it is equally horrifying that so many sexual instances have been covered up and hidden in our state and the rest of the country. In fact, in almost every investigation or report, you will notice a pattern of the church covering up and protecting abusers who carried out sexual acts on children.

Many news reports and findings show how religious institutions knew about the abuse occurring but still chose to keep quiet and do nothing about it. Instead, the churches chose the perpetrator over the child and allowed abusers to engage in sexual activity with children for many years.

Catholic churches, including the Diocese of St. Petersburg, decided that protecting their reputation and clergy was more important than stopping the abuse and getting justice for their youngest and most vulnerable members.

Some churches even went the extra mile to develop a system to hide evidence and ensure their names were still in good standing across their congregations and communities.

One of the most common strategies was moving offenders from one church to the next. It became normal to see priests or clergy members going from one Diocese to another.

Was your child a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest? Call the Dolman Law Group to speak with an experienced and compassionate Diocese of St. Petersburg sexual abuse lawyer today.

Priest Shuffling Enabled Abusers to Continue Their Bad Acts

Unless you've kept track of alleged priest abuses, you might not know the term priest shuffling. It came into use over past decades of Catholic priest accusations, investigations, lawsuits, and settlements.

Instead of punishing priests for their wrongdoings, the church allegedly forgave these priests and sometimes referred them for counseling. Often, they may have returned to the same parish, but sometimes, a bishop arranged a new assignment, and they moved to a new diocese in a new city or state.

Once a priest was in a new location with no known history or notice of prior bad acts, some continued their allegedly abusive behaviors. The priest shuffling dynamic is why some priests appear on multiple dioceses' lists of priests with credible accusations against them.

How Did Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys Expose the Church?

For a long time, people were uninformed and did not realize that it was a big deal that priests and other clergy members were moving to new locations. Therefore, there were no reports of this happening; if there were, they were typically only local.

As a result, clergy members can move to the next location quietly and peacefully, allowing them to continue committing their sexual abuse crimes in new churches and dioceses.

However, eventually, people gained the courage to speak out and let sexual abuse lawyers know what happened to them. This resulted in many civil cases filed against churches across Florida and the rest of the country. When this happened, people started noticing and becoming more aware of what was happening behind closed doors in Catholic churches.

The evidence was impressive but also quite shocking to everyone. The thousands of civil lawsuits filed provided everyone with an in-depth look at the church's tricks and motives, fully exposing them publicly.

That said, the clergy sexual abuse lawyers who have helped survivors get justice for the pain and suffering they have endured exposed the church. The church can no longer stay silent, and many believe that numerous others have undergone sexual abuse but have not yet come forward.

However, the ones who have come forward and held the clergy members and church accountable for their actions have given many others a voice as people from various churches, religious organizations, and even religious schools have stood up and defended their rights against sexual abuse.

How Was Clergy Sexual Abuse Ever Revealed?

For several decades, there were rumors and talks about clergy sexual abuse. However, after some time, the rumors seemed to fade away. This was most likely because the Catholic Church and Diocese started strategizing on how to cover up the reports and rumors, but regardless of these efforts, the topic made its way to the headlines again.

The news outlets and media across the country had a big role in the clergy sexual abuse being revealed, especially in the last several years. People became more interested and invested in what was happening, which helped shine a light on the clergy abuse issue.

More people also gained the courage to take legal action against the churches, resulting in successful sexual abuse cases in St. Petersburg, other parts of Florida, and the entire United States.

Examples of Different Types of Clergy Sexual Abuse That May Have Occurred to You at the Diocese of St. Petersburg

Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims

Predators who were or are still working at the Diocese of St. Petersburg used their position of authority and trust to gain access to the most vulnerable and innocent members of our society, which are children. The effects and impacts of these incidents are heart-wrenching.

If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse or have a child who is a survivor of child sexual abuse, you know personally how traumatic and devastating these incidents can be. To make matters worse, many children experience grooming from people they trust and think that it is normal behavior, or they may forget some of the details of what happened.

As a result, it can take years for a child sexual abuse survivor to come forward and admit the terrible acts they experienced at the hands of priests and church members.

These are some examples of different types of clergy sexual abuse that may have occurred to you or your child at the Diocese of St. Petersburg:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Asking to get undressed or take off clothes
  • Fondling or molestation
  • Sexual threats
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual comments
  • Rape, attempted rape, or statutory rape
  • Masturbation
  • Oral sex
  • Intercourse
  • Being asked to watch or participate in child pornography
  • Sending messages about anything sexual in nature

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) defines child sexual abuse as "a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor." Children cannot give consent to any type of sexual activity at all.

In Florida, the age of consent is 18. Therefore, no adult clergy members can say that a child consented to sexual behavior because only adults can legally consent to sexual acts, making it a crime to engage in sexual behavior with a child.

Is Clergy Sexual Abuse Different From Other Types of Sexual Abuse?

Clients who have been sexually abused by clergy members often wonder whether it is considered different from other types of sexual abuse. The answer to this question is that all sexual abuse incidents are similar no matter where the abuse occurred. However, there are a few factors that stand out when it comes to sexual abuse involving a religious organization or clergy member.

These factors may include:

  • Recurring or repeated sexual acts: The sexual abuse acts in the church may have been recurring or repeated over many years. This is because the churches and clergy members were allowed to secretly commit sexual acts with minors. Since no one stepped forward and reported the behaviors that were occurring behind the scenes, perpetrators can repeat their sexual acts with the same victims or many different victims.
  • Second guessing and confusion around religious beliefs: Children are often encouraged to attend church from a young age. Their parents may attend church, which leads children to believe that church is a safe place to go and learn religious studies. However, when clergy members sexually abuse children, they may begin to second guess or become confused about their religious beliefs. Many church leaders even use religious beliefs as a way to force victims into participating in sexual abuse acts.
  • Power or authority: Priests, deacons, and bishops may use their power or authority to sexually abuse children. This allows them to be alone with children and create environments where sexual abuse can occur.
  • Vulnerability: Clergy members know that children and young people are very vulnerable. Therefore, they may use grooming tactics to target them and persuade them to participate in sexual activities.

Whether you are a victim of clergy sexual abuse or non-clergy sexual abuse, you may notice that these factors are similar to the abuse that you experienced. This is because sexual abuse incidents can cause victims to second guess or feel confused about anyone they trust, such as a family member, babysitter, nanny, sports coach, or teacher.

In addition, many perpetrators find positions that give them authority and power over children, even outside the church. If no one reports the abuse, they will likely continue harming children. 

Injuries From Childhood Sexual Abuse

If you eliminate the religious connection of priest abuse cases, you'll find that they're remarkably similar to other cases of alleged sexual abuse. Victims suffer psychological and emotional damage. The reactions are more profound when the abuse takes place over extended periods.

The Child Welfare fact sheet “Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect“ and the NCBI-published article “Child Sexual Abuse” outline the physical, psychological, and behavioral problems many abuse survivors encounter.

  • Unhealthy sex practices
  • Social and health issues
  • Potential for continuing the cycle of abuse
  • Physical problems caused by toxic stress
  • Memory repression
  • Depression
  • Chronic stress
  • Anxiety
  • Anger, guilt, shame, and aggression
  • Alcohol and drug use

Upon examining the allegations, patterns begin to emerge. Adult priests allegedly committed acts to or with minors of all ages. The acts were criminal as there are different standards for minors in matters involving even consensual sex.

When adults were the alleged target, they were usually under pressure from supervisory priests or bishops. The children were encouraged by their faith to see priests as spiritual leaders. They may have considered the acts they allegedly participated in as acts of obedience or faith. The church allegedly urged families to remain silent about their complaints. The church never punished the priests until years later.

Several parties are legally responsible for establishing these ongoing patterns of abuse:

  • Allegedly abusive priests: As the criminal prosecutions suggest, priests are personally responsible for their actions. They continued their abuse after families reported them to church authorities. They continued them after counseling and after they went to a new assignment.
  • Diocese bishops and church leaders: Bishops and supervisory clergy failed to protect children within the church, even after initial allegations arose. They took no disciplinary actions and failed to report alleged abuses as criminal acts. Some bishops arranged new assignments at different locations.
  • The Catholic Church: As the priests' and bishops' ultimate “employer,” the church retained responsibility for their actions. They failed to supervise and monitor them. When victims reported initial acts of abuse, the church failed to take the appropriate actions.

How Sexual Abuse Attorneys Can Help Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Mattew Dolman, Diocese of St. Petersburg Sexual Abuse Lawyer

An experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable sexual abuse attorney from the Dolman Law Group can help victims of clergy sexual abuse in a variety of ways. We not only offer strong legal representation, but we also know exactly how to get justice for the abuse and hardships that you have suffered.

Our team is fully aware of the laws and regulations surrounding clergy sexual abuse cases, and we know how these horrifying acts can negatively affect your physical and mental health for the rest of your life.

These are some of the ways our sexual abuse attorneys can help victims of clergy sexual abuse:

  • We will listen to every word you tell us about your experience with compassion, empathy, and understanding.
  • We will investigate the facts of your case, determining what exactly happened and who may be liable for the sexual abuse that you experienced.
  • We will review various laws and regulations to determine ones that may impact your claim.
  • We will negotiate and communicate with the Diocese of St. Petersburg's insurance company, legal team, and any abusers you name in your claim.
  • We will prepare you and your case for a court trial hearing if necessary.
  • We will analyze settlement offers to determine if they are fair based on everything you have been through.
  • We will assess the compensation owed to you for your medical expenses, lost income, counseling or psychology fees, and pain and suffering. 
  • We will offer resources, organizations, or medical facilities that may aid in managing and coping with your feelings, injuries, and emotions during this time.
  • We will file a lawsuit on your behalf, actively seeking justice.

How to File a Lawsuit Against the Diocese of St. Petersburg for Sexual Abuse

If you, a family member, or a loved one experienced sexual abuse at the Diocese of St. Petersburg, you may be thinking about taking legal action for the losses you have suffered. However, you may feel lost and confused about what to do or where to turn during this complicated time.

If this is the case for you, take a deep breath and know you will get through this. Here are three simple steps you can take to file a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Petersburg for sexual abuse:

  1. Seek medical assistance and find someone to talk to: If sexual abuse recently occurred, you must seek medical assistance as soon as possible. The doctor will assess your symptoms and injuries, make a report, and begin treatment. If it has been years since your abuse, you may want to make an appointment to ensure that you do not have any possible infections or underlying injuries that you are unaware of. Regardless of how long it has been since your sexual abuse incident, you should consider making an appointment with a psychologist or counselor to talk about the emotional and mental pain that you have been dealing with.
  2. Avoid going back to the Diocese: Even though you may have a routine of going to church and enjoy being around your congregation, it's advisable to avoid returning to the Diocese for your well-being. This decision might be challenging, but if you continue attending, clergy members might exert pressure on you to remain silent about your abuse experience. Thus, stepping back from the Diocese can be a prudent choice to protect yourself from potential further distress.
  3. Get in touch with a St. Petersburg Diocese sexual abuse lawyer: One of the most important steps you can take is to get in touch with a sexual abuse lawyer at your earliest convenience. Numerous law firms will likely be willing to take your case, but conducting your research is essential to determine who you believe will provide you with the best representation and the necessary legal support. At Dolman Law Group, our attorneys are trained and educated on how to handle clergy abuse cases. Therefore, if you choose to work with our team, we will provide you with care, compassion, and understanding throughout the process.

What Damages Can a Priest Abuse Victim Recover?

When a plaintiff proves they suffered an injury, their settlements may include economic, general, and punitive damages.

Economic damages include expenses incurred as a result of an injury:

  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Household services
  • Medical and therapy bills
  • Medical transportation expenses
  • Prescription medications
  • Private nursing costs
  • Income losses

General damages consider an injured person's subjective concerns and how they affect their life emotionally, socially, and personally.

General damages may include:

  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Functional impairments and disabilities
  • Inability to perform spousal and family services

Florida courts also have the option of awarding punitive damages when the plaintiff demonstrates with clear and convincing evidence that a defendant committed intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

Can the Catholic Church Avoid Responsibility for Abuse Injuries?

Denial has often been the primary defense strategy for priest abuse cases. Accused priests have denied that the alleged acts took place.

Despite reports and documentation in their files, the Catholic Church and its involved dioceses have frequently supported their priests' refusals to accept responsibility. Once allegedly abused victims began to tell their stories publicly, the Diocese of St. Petersburg agreed to settle some cases.

When they forced injured victims to file suit for damages, Florida's statute of limitations often barred their recovery.

Given the magnitude of the issues, the Florida Legislature revised §95.11, the statute of limitations codes. The changes allow abuse victims additional time to discover the cause of their injuries and present their claims. The statute of limitations now expires four years after the “time of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse.”

As this change doesn't apply to claims for the church's vicarious liability, the institution, its bishops, and other supervisory entities may still avoid liability. Our personal injury attorneys have the legal experience to deal with complex legal defenses.

We've always relied on the strength of our evidence and on our case analysis to produce winning courtroom strategies.

Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

Doman Law Group - Diocese of St. Petersburg Sexual Abuse Attorneys

If you or a family member sustained harm due to an abusive relationship with a priest, you must take steps to protect your legal rights. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 472-3909, visit our live chat link, or complete our confidential contact form at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA online. We'll arrange a private consultation to discuss your case.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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