A federal lawsuit seeking $20 million in damages was filed Monday against Fairfield University, the Society of Jesus and a Colorado man sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children at a school he founded in Haiti. The lawsuit was filed by one of Douglas Perlitz's accusers. It maintains that Fairfield University, the Jesuit order and other defendants were negligent in hiring and supervising Perlitz in the work he did in Haiti. And it accuses other defendants, some of them not named, of aiding Perlitz's efforts to cover up the abuse. Alice Poltorick, a spokeswoman for the Society of Jesus, New England, called Perlitz' actions "deeply disturbing" and said the order would "work to address this claim diligently and with great sensitivity towards any individual who was harmed by Mr. Perlitz." Officials at Fairfield University, which put its employees on the fundraising arm of the Haitian school, declined to comment, saying they hadn't yet seen the lawsuit. A message left for an attorney for Perlitz wasn't immediately returned.
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