While employers and principals were not historically liable for the intentional torts committed by employers or agents outside the scope of the employment or agency, some courts have recognized employer/principal liability under certain situations. Furthermore, some legislatures have relaxed statutes of limitations allowing civil claims to proceed based on intentional conduct committed decades in the past.

Davis Rothwell is frequently retained to defend organizations involving claims arising from sexual abuse committed by the organizations’ employees and volunteers, or committed on the organizations’ premises. These claims frequently involve incidents that occurred decades in the past, but can also involve more recent conduct. Typically, these claims include causes of action for vicarious liability, institutional negligence, and fraud.


Davis Rothwell has years of experience defending organizations in cases arising out of sexual abuse. These include schools, religious organizations, youth-serving organizations, professional groups, medical facilities, and other organizations in litigation arising out of claims of sexual abuse. Our experience and close relationship with our clients allows us to protect our clients both before litigation commences and after litigation is in full swing.

Laws that are implicated in sexual tort claims often vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, especially with regard to statutes of limitations and vicarious liability. We practice in state and federal courts in Oregon and Washington. We have experienced appellate counsel in the firm to assist in appellate review.


Davis Rothwell’s sexual torts cases are included in the firm’s personal injury defense practice, an area in which Davis Rothwell’s attorneys have received numerous awards. These include “Best Lawyers® in America” for personal injury defense litigation, as well as both “Super Lawyers”® and “Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars” for personal injury defense.