Mental health of Y.U.’s Lamm to be assessed in sex abuse lawsuit

(JTA) — A doctor will evaluate the condition of Rabbi Norman Lamm to determine whether the former president of Yeshiva University should be questioned in a $380 million sex abuse lawsuit against the school.

U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl ruled Monday in New York City that the choice of doctor should be agreed upon by Yeshiva University and former students of Y.U. institutions who are suing the school.

The students allege they were sexually abused between 1976 and 2003, when Lamm was chancellor, the Forward and other media outlets reported.

Filed by 19 former students of the Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan, the suit names top members of Y.U.’s former administration, including Lamm.

In July in a letter announcing his retirement, Lamm, 85, acknowledged mishandling the abuse allegations decades earlier. He apologized for not alerting police when he learned of the abuse accusations. Lamm also indicated that he may be suffering from a decline in his mental acuity.

Lawyers for the students say they want to depose Lamm as soon as possible due to fears that his mental status could deteriorate, according to The Forward, which first published details of the claims against two former Yeshiva University staff members late last year.

New York’s statute of limitations prevents abuse victims from bringing claims after they turn 23. But the students’ lawyers claim the limitations would not apply in the Y.U. case since the institution covered up the complaints and allowed the teachers to leave the institution and find new jobs, according to the Forward.

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