$5.4 Million Jury Verdict Awarded to Sexual Abuse Victim of Catholic School Principal

Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP is pleased to announce that attorneys from the firm have obtained a $5.4 million jury verdict for their client, who is a victim of childhood sexual assault.

Attorneys Amy C. Keller and Gregory P. Krull represented the victim in this case. To maintain his privacy, the victim is identified as “LG 55 Doe” in court filings for this matter.

LG 55 Doe is an adult in his 30s, who was sexually assaulted as a child. As a minor, LG 55 Doe attended middle school at Siena Catholic Academy in Brighton, NY, from 2002-2004. While attending Siena Catholic Academy, LG 55 Doe met Joseph A. Grasso, a Catholic Priest who served as Principal of the school. Joseph Grasso used his position as a priest and school Principal of Siena Catholic Academy to pull LG 55 Doe out of his classes and sexually assault him. Joseph Grasso fondled, groped and orally raped LG 55 Doe in the sacristy of the adjacent St. Thomas More Church, from approximately January or February 2003 through May or June 2004.

The sexual crimes perpetrated against LG 55 as a minor, changed the course of his life and continue to affect him to this day. Upon the passage of New York State’s Child Victims Act, LG 55 Doe was given the right to pursue justice against the child molester. In 2020, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria filed a lawsuit on LG 55 Doe’s behalf against Joseph A. Grasso.

On March 13, 2024, in New York State Supreme Court, a Monroe County jury awarded LG 55 Doe a verdict of $5.4 million against Joseph A. Grasso. Joseph A. Grasso denied that he sexually assaulted the child victim. Joseph Grasso was represented by Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, the same firm that represents the Diocese of Rochester, Diocese of Buffalo, Diocese of Syracuse, and Diocese of Ogdensburg in each of their respective bankruptcies. Over the course of a weeklong trial, the jury was able to hear the testimony of LG 55 Doe, his parents, his medical provider, a psychologist, another former student, former Assistant Principal and secretary of Siena Catholic Academy, a parent of former students at Siena Catholic Academy, and the Defendant, Joseph Grasso, and ultimately, rendered a verdict that unanimously found that Joseph A. Grasso had sexually assaulted LG 55 Doe when he was a child. The verdict amount includes compensation for pain and suffering as well as medical expenses and lost wages that are a result of the sexual assaults LG 55 Doe endured.  The verdict amount also included an award of $3 million dollars for punitive damages against Joseph A. Grasso.

Attorney Amy C. Keller stated “The abuser’s crimes were an egregious and heinous violation of a sacred trust that impacts my client’s life to this day. My hope is that this trial will in some way bring closure to my client and help him emotionally heal from the trauma, pain, and suffering he feels.”

A lawsuit in this case, which was filed against St. Thomas More Church, is still pending, and a proof of claim has been submitted in the Diocese of Rochester bankruptcy.

Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP has been serving all the legal needs of the Western New York community for over 50 years. With over 50 attorneys, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP is one of Buffalo’s largest law firms. The firm serves individuals, organizations, and corporations in the areas of Accidents & Personal Injury, Business & Corporate Law, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense Trials & Appeals, Estate Planning & Administration, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law, Matrimonial & Family Law, Medical Malpractice, Professional Licensing Defense, Real Estate, Social Security Disability, Sports & Entertainment Law, Workers’ Compensation, and Zoning & Land Use. In addition to its headquarters in Buffalo, Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP maintains a satellite office in