Window for sex abuse claims against Diocese of Rochester could soon close
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Most the lawsuits filed under the newly enacted Child Victims Act name the Diocese of Rochester, which is much of the reason why it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday.
That law, which went into effect last month, opened a year-long window for sex abuse victims to file lawsuits against their alleged accusers. That included the Catholic Church.
"So all the cases that have been filed in state court, our cases, all the cases being drafted - all those need to be consolidated, and will be consolidated before the bankruptcy judge," said attorney James Marsh, who is representing survivors of clergy abuse.
Marsh says this is a tactic being used by the diocese to expedite settlements for all the clergy abuse cases. He says, this way, the cases will move along faster and survivors will get settlements.
"That’s the fresh start you hear about in bankruptcy," said Marsh.
Now, a bankruptcy judge will set what's called a "bar date," which is a deadline for claims to be submitted. Marsh says it's possible this will happen sooner than later, and survivors may have much less time to bring case forward than under the CVA.
"That’s why it’s so important for the people in the Diocese of Rochester to understand they probably won’t have until August," said Marsh.
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