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Jeffrey Epstein Lawyers Fight to Get Accusers’ Lawsuits Dismissed

Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein’s $577-million estate are wasting no time in trying to dismiss victims’ claims for damages, as more women come forward with lawsuits alleging sexual abuse, court records show.

On Monday, an attorney for Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn—two mysterious Epstein employees who’ve worked for the financier’s charities and serve as the executors of his will—wrote U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, asking for a conference before they file a motion to dismiss one accuser’s claims for punitive damages. The woman’s case is just one of 17 lawsuits filed against Epstein’s estate since August, when the 66-year-old killed himself in jail as he faced sex-trafficking charges in New York.

The plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe, seeks punitive damages (as well as compensatory and other damages) and alleges she was 14 when she met Epstein in 2002, and that he repeatedly sexually abused her at his New York mansion until 2005. Doe’s complaint, filed in September, accuses Epstein of sexual assault; sexual battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Bennet Moskowitz, the lawyer representing Indyke and Kahn, pushed to dismiss Doe’s claims for punitive damages, arguing that the four counts in Doe’s lawsuit are based on personal injuries, and that per New York law, punitive damages can’t be recovered from the representatives of the deceased. 

Now 31, Doe was “Minor Victim-1” in the indictment filed by Manhattan federal prosecutors, the complaint states. Epstein’s abuse “forever scarred her and altered her life,” her suit says, and she never finished high school and continues to suffer from PTSD.

Doe’s attorney, Roberta “Robbie” Kaplan, wrote to Judge Failla and Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman on Wednesday in response to Moskowitz’s letter, saying “there is no good reason for further delay in this case.” Kaplan says the case should be ready for trial in six months or less.

Kaplan argued that Indyke and Kahn “have not identified a single reason to dismiss” Doe’s claims and their sole argument pertains to the question of damages. She called their motion to dismiss a “time-waster,” because Doe is requesting other relief besides punitive damages, and New York law may not apply since Epstein filed his will in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“In fact, given the small number of anticipated witnesses, Mr. Epstein’s obvious unavailability to testify, and the straightforward nature of [Jane Doe’s] tort claims, minimal discovery is required,” Kaplan wrote. “This case can and should be ready for trial within six months.”

The letters come two weeks after Freeman rebuked Epstein’s estate for keeping accusers in the dark about a victim compensation fund. On Wednesday, the estate’s lawyers asked a judge in the Virgin Islands, where Epstein’s last will and testament was filed, to expedite approval of their proposed fund, the New York Post reported. 

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