"Lisa" Launders Steinberg
1981 - November
A Grave Memorial
York City, on May 14, 1981 a baby girl was born by the name of
Lisa Launders. By November of the year 1987, the entire would
to know her as "Lisa Steinberg". Following
Lisa's mother paid Joel Steinberg $500. to find an adoptive home for
A home was never found and although he never adopted Lisa himself, she
did live with Joel and his live in girlfriend, for the rest of what
be her very short, sad life.
November 1, 1987,
Joel Steinberg delivered several blows to Lisa's head and then he and
Nussbaum waited over 12 hours to call for help. Lisa did not die that
she died three days later from severe brain injuries. He left the house
and Hedda called no
that he could help Lisa by laying his hands on her, when he
found Lisa was no longer breathing, Joel STILL didn't want to
call for help, but eventually did. Lisa was in a coma for three days
before she finally died.
above with her baby brother who was found in a back room, laying on the
floor, tied to his crib with a short length of rope, dressed in filthy
who was still Lisa's LEGAL guardian at the time since she had
been adopted by Joel and Hedda, was given legal rights to Lisa's estate
and later sued. Joel Steinberg was convicted of first- degree
in 1989. Hedda had been abused by Joel for years and was beaten by him
just before he delivered the blows that killed Lisa, therefore, she was
not able to help Lisa. Hedda was not prosecuted since she had been
unable to help Lisa and was not involved in her abuse other than not
has been involved
in a campaign to stop Joel from ever being paroled and his next parole
hearing is set for January of 2004. Joel has been up for parole several
times and has each time been denied. To this day he refuses to accept
for he did to Lisa Launders.
Police officers and even a teacher who had seen the evidence of abuse
Lisa's body, failed to report this or do anything about it. So we have
another case of a child who could have been saved if someone had only
willing to help her.
has moved on,
writing a book and staying as far away from Joel as
October of 2007,
Joel petitioned the court to throw out a lawsuit that had been filed by
Michelle Launders, Lisa's biological mother. Joel was ordered to pay
million dollars in damages for what he did to Lisa. Joel's
behind this was that Lisa had only been through, at the most, eight
of pain and suffering. What kind of monster thinks it okay to torture
murder a child, as long as he doesn't cause her to suffer for more than
the media, Joel submitted his request in writing rather than appear in
person. He sighted the quality of the legal briefs he had written and
fact that medical reports showed that Lisa didn't have any really
injures, as reasons he thought he had a good chance of getting the
thrown out. Joel even had a plan for if he loses:
continue to labor and live in poverty. I'll have my salary
at 10%. But maybe I'll go to
is the lawyer for Michelle said the following:
even at this late point, that Joel Steinberg still
taking any responsibility"
January of 2007,
an Appellate Division panel said that Joel was as devoid
and human emotion now, as he was the night he had killed Lisa. They
the judgment would stay. However, because two of the five judges
he should not have to pay for past abuse of Lisa, he was able to take
case to Albany.
released from prison June 30, 2004, after being behind bars for ONLY
denied parole in 1996, twice in 2000 and once 2002, once again Joel
was denied parole on January 15, 2004. The three member panel that
compelling your inexplicable disregard for your victim,
he would NEVER get out, however, his release date is set for
after he serves only two thirds of his sentence. A television company,
who will NEVER be named on my site, has offered him a job
on the fact that he has been in prison. Isn't it wonderful, he kills a
little girl, goes to prison, and when he gets out, he will have a
show which is his because he has been to prison. I find this to be
many requests for the name of the television station which will employ
this murderer, I have decided to put it up:
prison to cable
that he was inmate No. 89A2941, Steinberg was disciplined a handful of
times for such infractions as violating a smoking policy and refusing a
direct order, says Linda Foglia, spokeswoman for New York's State
of Correctional Services. He studied drafting and handicrafts and was a
porter in the gym, she said. And since May 1991, the disbarred attorney
has been assigned to the prison's law library, where he is a paralegal
Steinberg will earn $250 a week as an intern for New York Confidential,
a tabloid-style cable show that has the infamous report on the
"We're interested in a lot of different people, scandalous people ...
can do stories and have a totally different view on everything," show
James Edstrom says. "There's no guarantee that he will work out. He'll
start as an intern, and if he can handle it, he may end up being a
along with other people."
program is also interested in getting Bernhard Goetz on the show. Goetz
became a symbol of vigilantism in 1984, after he shot four young men he
thought were going to rob him on a New York subway. Goetz was sentenced
to a year in jail for possessing an unlicensed gun.
least part of
Steinberg's wages may go to pay for his crime. Launders, Lisa's
mother, was awarded $15 million in damages in September 2003 from a
lawsuit she originally filed against Steinberg, Nussbaum and various
agencies. The city settled without admitting any wrong doing in 1999
we had was he was going to work as some kind of a TV journalist,"
Schaefer, Launders' lawyer. "We'll be monitoring that situation, and to
the effect we can
take garnishment, we, of course, will."
Steinberg wants $15M damage award thrown out Wednesday, September 05,
Steinberg, whose horrific murder of his daughter stunned the city 20
years ago, is still a cold-hearted monster.
disbarred-lawyer-turned-laborer wants the state's highest court to toss
the $15 million in damages he has been ordered to pay for the beating
death of 6-year-old Lisa in 1987.
twisted argument is that the tortured girl - whom he illegally adopted
- only endured, "at most, eight hours of pain and suffering."
Lisa was found bruised and battered, Steinberg, 66, contends he was
hammered too hard in 2004, when Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Louis
York ordered him to pay the money to Michele Launders, Lisa Steinberg's
biological mother, who sued as executor of her daughter's estate.
$15M JUDGMENT AGAINST
JOEL STEINBERG, STANDS
the late 1980's, Joel Steinberg, a "convicted child killer and abuser,"
was involved in a horrific criminal case which is still ingrained
the minds of many.
November 4, 1987, six-year-old Lisa Steinberg was killed by
a "staggering" blow to her head.* And, Mr. Steinberg, her
later convicted of manslaughter in the first degree.
a civil lawsuit commenced by the administratrix of Lisa's estate, Joel
Steinberg, Hedda Nussbaum ("his live-in girlfriend"), and various City
employees and agencies were sued on several grounds, including
administratrix, Michele Launders, was later awarded $15 million
as against Mr. Steinberg, who appealed the judgment alleging
was, among other things, "excessive."
In a decision released
16, 2007, the Appellate
Division, First Department, by a 3-2 margin, upheld the award.
Clearly, the majority was repulsed by Steinberg's conduct and the
insensitive statements contained in his submissions to the court.
the AD noted in its decision:
are entirely without merit. First, for Steinberg
to dismiss the eight to ten hours preceding Lisa's death as "at most eight hours of pain
and suffering" or as
he alternatively states, a "quick loss
of consciousness" demonstrates that he is as devoid of any empathy or
human emotion now as he was almost 20 years ago when he stood trial for
Lisa's homicide. As any parent and, no doubt, most adults who have
taken trips with young children can attest, the oft-heard question,
"are we there yet?" is a clear illustration that, the more anticipated
an event or destination so, seemingly slower the passage of time in a
child's mind. For Lisa, lying on a bathroom floor, her body aching from
bruises of "varying ages," her brain swelling from her father's
"staggering blow," those eight to ten hours so cavalierly dismissed by
Steinberg must have seemed like eternity as she waited and wondered
when someone would come to comfort her and help make the pain go away.
The court concluded
that the unprecedented nature of the case
the sums awarded. In particular, the AD found no reason to
punitive-damage component, finding it neither "excessive" nor
inappropriate under the circumstances:
In urging this Court to
affirm the punitive damages, the plaintiff
appropriately describes Steinberg's conduct as a heinous and
inexcusable assault upon a defenseless child. The plaintiff states:
"[T]he cavalier disregard of Lisa's welfare evidenced by [Steinberg's]
failure to summon aid is exceeded only by the sadistic mechanism he
employed to bring about the need for medical treatment in the first
place." The heinous nature of Steinberg's intentional and deliberate
abuse and manslaughter of a defenseless little girl earned him the
cognomen "monster" almost 20 years ago. Now, the revisitation of the
horror that was Lisa Steinberg's life continues to elicit a palpable
sense of outrage. We therefore affirm the award for punitive damages.
occurred in the
state of New York
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