Gravel & Shea PC

August 2015

Vermont Jury Awards Child Sex Abuse Survivor $1 Million

A Chittenden County jury returned a verdict Friday afternoon against Douglas Cavett in favor of a child sexual abuse survivor after a four-day trial. The jury awarded the survivor $500,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

Douglas Cavett, formerly of Milton, was a para-educator at Hunt Middle School in Burlington in the 1990s. He currently is serving a 5-15 year sentence as the result of a conviction on two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of the plaintiff in this case. At the time of the molestation, the survivor was between the ages of 11 and 15.

The law firm of Gravel & Shea PC represented the survivor pro bono. Jerry O’Neill, the Gravel & Shea lawyer who worked on the case, stated “The verdict shows what the civil justice system can do for survivors – and serves as a warning to those who might molest children that they will be held accountable for their crimes in the civil justice system, in addition to facing jail time.” O’Neill also said that his client felt vindicated by the jury’s verdict.