On Wednesday, four clergy abuse survivors filed a suit in the Lackawanna County Court in Scranton, Pennsylvania against the Scranton Diocese and the former and current bishops. They allege that the Catholic church leaders within the diocese protected clergy members by creating an environment that encouraged abuse and covered up acknowledged cases of abuse. Three plaintiffs accused the priest of abuse that occurred during the 1970s and 1980s when they were between 11 and 12 years old while the other plaintiff alleges a pattern of abuse for seven years that began when the survivor was nine years old. The diocese claims that they never received any complaints in the past, and the priest did not appear in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report but was added to the diocesan list of credibly accused priests at a later date.
Despite the failure of Pennsylvania legislators to loosen the statute of limitations for filing past claims against abusers, some survivors may have found a way to get around the restrictions. In June, a woman successfully filed a claim against the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, alleging that the diocese knew about the abuse she experienced by a priest in the diocese and that they may be liable for covering up the purported abuse. While this tactic in filing claims may not work for every survivor, it allows some to pursue the closure and justice they deserve.
If you or a loved one dealt with the trauma of clergy abuse, contact our Pennsylvania clergy abuse attorneys at Williams Cedar who will ensure that your voice is heard. To schedule a free and confidential case review, please call us at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.