Emerging history of Launceston nurse’s acts of sexual abuse
The extent of allegations of abuse made against Launceston nurse, James ‘Jim’ Griffin were recently discussed on Camille Bianchi’s podcast, The Nurse. Mr Griffin has been charged by Tasmania Police with more than a dozen offences related to child sexual abuse.
From the late 1980’s through to 2012, Mr Griffin was employed as a registered nurse at Ashley Detention Centre near Deloraine and the Paediatric Centre at the Launceston General Hospital. Mr Griffin was also a volunteer at the Northern Tasmanian Netball Association.
On 1 May 2019, a survivor came forward and made a complaint to Tasmanian Police relating to the historic sexual abuse committed by Mr Griffin. This resulted in more survivors coming forward. The number of people impacted by the illegal acts of Mr Griffin will no doubt be far-reaching.
Duty of care breached
There may be a basis to allege that the departments and organisations involved, breached their duty of care. The organisations where Mr Griffin worked or volunteered, owed a duty of care to the children who were subjected to that abuse. This would include residents, patients and participants of Youth Justice Services, Tasmanian Health and the Northern Tasmanian Netball Association.
What is duty of care?
Generally, a duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on a legal person, which includes an institution, to exercise a reasonable standard of care to avoid foreseeable harm to others.
Relating to child abuse, a person or institution has a duty to take all reasonable steps to prevent the abuse of a child by a person associated with the organisation while the child is under the care, supervision, control or authority of the institution. Importantly, the law also recognises that an institution can be held liable for the direct breach of duty by one of its employees (in certain limited circumstances).
Our Abuse Law team understands that for a survivor, discussing the particular circumstances will be difficult, however it is important that survivors know their rights.
We encourage anyone who may have information relating to allegations of sexual or physical abuse at Launceston General Hospital, Ashley Detention Centre or Northern Tasmanian Netball Association from the late 1980’s through to 2012, to make contact with Megan Stanley, Senior Associate at Hall Payne, as soon as possible.
This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or Federal level.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall Payne Lawyers.