The magnitude of the claims is so large that it’s shocking, and sad.
Last Wednesday was the deadline to file claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As of the deadline, roughly 550 people have lodged sex-abuse claims againt the church, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week.
Shocking as those numbers are, advocates for alleged priest abuse victims claim that the 550 understates the reality. They told the Journal Sentinel that there are many more victims in southeast Wisconsin, who feared filing or just didn’t think they could win against the archdiocese.
There will be a hearing next week, Feb. 9, on motions to dismiss claims by three men who charge they were molested as kids by a priest and choir from 1970 to the 1980s.
The archidocese, according to the Journal Sentinel, does’t deny those particular allegations. But it still has plenty of excuses for having those claims tossed out — that they are outside the statute of limitations, include a victim who has already received a settlement, and because it claims the choir director didn’t work for the archdiocese.
The archdiocese also plans to argue that priests that were members of religious orders weren’t diocesan employees, the Journal Sentinel reported.
If the church wins on those motions, it would likely mean that many of the molestation victims’ claims in bankruptcy court would be dismissed. That doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
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