September 16, 2022
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit released its opinion in Snyder-Hill v. Ohio State University and Moxley v. Ohio State. The 2-1 decision reversed the district court’s determination that claims brought by the plaintiffs-appellants – former Ohio State University male students, including college athletes, who were sexually abused by Dr. Richard Strauss – are barred by the statute of limitations. The Sixth Circuit held that Plaintiffs-Appellants adequately alleged they did not know and could not have known that OSU injured them prior to 2018.
Weil worked with the National Women’s Law Center and Women’s Sports Foundation to submit an amici curiae brief to the Sixth Circuit in support of the plaintiffs-appellants. The brief was joined by 49 additional advocacy organizations in support of the survivors. The brief focused on the unique vulnerabilities faced by college athletes that prevents them from recognizing that they have been sexually abused.
In stating that the district court was wrong to dismiss the plaintiffs-appellants’ allegations that they did not know they were abused, the Sixth Circuit cited several amici briefs, including Weil’s brief for the National Women’s Law Center and Women’s Sports Foundation. The court observed, as Weil argued in the brief, that recognizing sexual abuse can be challenging for college athletes “because of the insular nature of teams, the immense trust and authority placed in coaches, and the culture of college athletics, including the role of coaches and trainers in setting norms.”