Civil rape claim brought against Weinstein in London
The first civil claim against Harvey Weinstein in England and Wales has been lodged by a woman accusing him of a series of sexual assaults.
Jill Greenfield, a personal injuries lawyer with Fieldfisher, confirmed that she had lodged a personal injury claim against Weinstein, the Weinstein Company UK Ltd and the Weinstein Company LLC in the US at the High Court of England of Wales.
The lodging of the claim triggers civil proceedings for personal injury to Greenfield’s client in London. She has also applied for an anonymity order on behalf of her client.
The claim is listed as damages for personal injury, expenses, consequential loss including aggravated and exemplary damages, and interest arising out of a series of sexual assaults allegedly inflicted on the claimant by Weinstein. It also includes a claim against the UK and US companies as having been liable as employers of the defendant. The claim is expected to exceed £300,000.
A personal injuries claim for an alleged rape is unusual. Greenfield brought a successful civil claim for rape in 2006 in which the victim won £259,000. She said at the time that advised complainants to consider a civil claim when criminal proceedings were not brought.
“This sends a message to women everywhere who find themselves in this position that they should stand up for themselves and seek proper advice,” she said.
Greenfield, who was instructed by her client less than a month ago, said that she had to act swiftly to protect her client’s ability to bring a claim so many years after the assaults, which allegedly took place after 2000.
She would not be surprised if a group action against the film producer followed, she said, adding that her firm had received a number of calls.