Posted December 3rd, 2018 by Munley Law.
In the wake of the August grand jury report that documented decades of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the state, several dioceses in Pennsylvania have taken steps to establish a victim compensation fund. The report estimated that hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania molested over 1,000 children since the 1940s.
In early November, the Dioceses of Philadelphia, Scranton, Harrisburg, and Allentown announced programs that will compensate survivors who were sexually abused by priests in the Catholic Church. The announcements did not mention a total dollar amount for the funds or their maximum potential individual payouts. Participation in these programs will be voluntary.
Five of the dioceses have hired veteran compensation fund coordinator Ken Feinberg to map out and oversee their programs. The Philadelphia fund has set a filing deadline for claims at the end of next September, with Harrisburg and Scranton expected to begin their programs in January. […]Read More
Posted August 31st, 2018 by Munley Law.
Pennsylvania lawsuit seeks to extend statute of limitations in priest abuse cases
A lawsuit against the Diocese of Pittsburgh aims to extend or eliminate the statute of limitations in civil cases against the Catholic Church stemming from sexual abuse allegations against clergy members and religious administrators. The lawsuit involves a man who, as a young child, was allegedly abused by a priest named in the grand jury report released earlier this month. The suit further alleges that because these accusations were not made public within the statute of limitations, the victim did not have the opportunity to seek justice.
The statute of limitations typically limits the amount of time a victim has to file a civil case against the person or organization that caused them harm. However, the statute has been extended in cases where there has been “fraudulent concealment of evidence.”
Extend the statute: All abuse victims deserve justice
Similar attempts at abolishing or extending the statute of limitations for abuse victims have failed in the past, […]Read More
Posted July 2nd, 2018 by Munley Law.
PA Supreme Court blocks grand jury report’s public release
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court stopped the release of a grand jury report investigating decades of sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses across the state as a result of challenges filed by unnamed parties. While the report was issued to six dioceses under investigation, no estimated date has been provided for when the 800 plus-page report will be made public.
The grand jury spent nearly two years investigating allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy in Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. These dioceses have roughly 1.7 million members.
The investigation covered not only claims of child sexual abuse, but also failure to report to law enforcement and obstruction of justice. In addition to the clergy, clergy community leaders, local public officeholders, and church officers were investigated. The jurors reviewed over 500,000 pages of diocesan archives. […]Read More