Rabbi Norman Lamm
One of the defendants in a scathing $380 million lawsuit accusing Yeshiva University of covering up decades of sexual and physical abuse against students now has a doctor’s note that could get him out of testifying in the case.
Former Yeshiva University Rabbi Norman Lamm, 85, was examined on Sept. 16 by neuropsychologist Elise Caccappolo of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, who found that he can’t provide reliable testimony, Lamm’s lawyer wrote this week.
“Dr. Caccappolo found that a deposition was unlikely to pose a risk or threat to Dr. Lamm’s health,” lawyer Joel Cohen wrote Judge John Koetl on Tuesday.
“However, after administering a battery of tests conducted over a period of nearly five hours, Dr. Caccopolo determined [in her written report] that ‘the pattern of Dr. Lamm’s cognitive impairment impedes his ability to independently comprehend and adequately respond to questions posed to him, as well to reliably retrieve and report past information.”
Lamm retired July 1 — only a few weeks after the university was slapped with the suit by 19 ex-students of its prestigious all-boys high school.
In December, Lamm spurred the suit by telling the Jewish newspaper The Forward that two rabbis were allowed to leave the school quietly after students accused them of sex abuse.
He was examined after Kevin Mulhearn, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, asked that Lamm – who suffers from dementia – be allowed to testify within weeks to ensure his condition doesn’t worsen.
Koetl said he’d rule only after Lamm was examined independently by a doctor agreed to by all parties.
Cohen and Mulhearn declined comment.