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Thread: A time for legal reckoning.

  1. #1
    Salem ac Leporem Lisa's Avatar
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    A time for legal reckoning.

    Associated Press reporting found the deluge of suits could surpass anything the nation’s clergy sexual abuse crisis has seen before, with potentially more than 5,000 new cases and payouts topping $4 billion.

    The Associated Press

    At the end of another long day trying to sign up new clients accusing the Roman Catholic Church of sexual abuse, lawyer Adam Slater gazes out the window of his high-rise Manhattan office at one of the great symbols of the church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    “I wonder how much that’s worth?” he muses.

    Across the country, attorneys like Slater are scrambling to file a new wave of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by clergy, thanks to rules enacted in 15 states that extend or suspend the statute of limitations to allow claims stretching back decades. Associated Press reporting found the deluge of suits could surpass anything the nation’s clergy sexual abuse crisis has seen before, with potentially more than 5,000 new cases and payouts topping $4 billion.

    It’s a financial reckoning playing out in such populous Catholic strongholds as New York, California and New Jersey, among the eight states that go the furthest with “lookback windows” that allow sex abuse claims no matter how old. Never before have so many states acted in near-unison to lift the restrictions that once shut people out if they didn’t bring claims of childhood sex abuse by a certain age, often their early 20s.

    That has lawyers fighting for clients with TV ads and billboards asking, “Were you abused by the church?” And Catholic dioceses, while worrying about the difficulty of defending such old claims, are considering bankruptcy, victim compensation funds and even tapping valuable real estate to stay afloat.

    “It’s like a whole new beginning for me,” said 71-year-old Nancy Holling-Lonnecker of San Diego, who plans to take advantage of an upcoming three-year window for such suits in California. Her claim dates back to the 1950s, when she says a priest repeatedly raped her in a confession booth beginning when she was 7 years old.

    “The survivors coming forward now have been holding on to this horrific experience all of their lives,” she said. “They bottled up those emotions all of these years because there was no place to take it.”

    Now there is.

    AP interviews with more than a dozen lawyers and clergy abuse watchdog groups offered a wide range of estimates but many said they expected at least 5,000 new cases against the church in New York, New Jersey and California alone, resulting in potential payouts that could surpass the $4 billion paid out since the clergy sex abuse first came to light in the 1980s.

    Lawyers acknowledged the difficulty of predicting what will happen but several believed payouts could exceed the $350,000 national average per child sex abuse case since 2003. At the upper end, a key benchmark is the average $1.3 million the church paid per case the last time California opened a one-year window to suits in 2003. That offers a range of total payouts in the three big Catholic states alone from $1.8 billion to as much as $6 billion.

    Some lawyers believe payouts could be heavily influenced by the recent reawakening over sexual abuse fueled by the #MeToo movement, the public shaming of accused celebrities and the explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report last year that found 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children in that state over seven decades. Since then, attorneys general in nearly 20 states have launched investigations of their own.

    “The general public is more disgusted than ever with the clergy sex abuse and the cover-up, and that will be reflected in jury verdicts,” said Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who was at the center of numerous lawsuits against the church in that city and was portrayed in the movie “Spotlight.”

    Said Los Angeles lawyer Paul Mones, who has won tens of millions in sex abuse cases against the church going back to the 1980s: “The zeitgeist is completely unfavorable to the Catholic Church.”

    For Mones, the size of lawsuit payouts under the new laws could hinge on whether most plaintiffs decide to settle their cases with dioceses or take their chances with a trial.











    LEGAL RECKONING | National News | mankatofreepress.com
    Condor060 said; Who was talking about Jesus? I posted scriptures from the bible. Try and keep up

  2. #2
    Salem ac Leporem Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: A time for legal reckoning.

    I thought that a thread about the Roman Catholic church's previous abuse of children by priests and bishops and how a new law could maean that they would be on the hook financially for possibly billions of dollars because of it might be more worthy of discussion.
    Condor060 said; Who was talking about Jesus? I posted scriptures from the bible. Try and keep up

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