Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Updates & News | May 2024

Editorial Team


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


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Examining case studies of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits provides a profound understanding of the gravity and complexity of these cases. These lawsuits illustrate the heinous acts committed by individuals in positions of trust and the lengths to which institutions have gone to protect their reputations over the well-being of victims. Here are several notable examples:

  1. The Maryland Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of the Child Victims Act (CVA), a law primarily impacting churches and passed last year. A federal judge in Maryland has expedited the process by submitting a certified question to the state's Supreme Court regarding the CVA's validity. This action aims to provide a quicker resolution than the standard appeal process. The decision will clarify how the CVA stands under Maryland's constitution.

  2. The Feinberg Group reported that it received 369 claims against the Catholic Diocese in Pittsburgh. Of the 297 claims deemed eligible, 224 claimants agreed to settlements, with claims averaging about $86,000 per victim. This case highlighted the widespread nature of the abuse and the collective action that victims took to seek justice.

  3. Two women who were abused as children over a 13-year period by a congregation member brought a lawsuit against the organization. They argued that the congregation's decision to handle the matter internally, rather than contact authorities, allowed the abuse to continue. The jury awarded the victims a collective $34,960,000, underlining the severe consequences of institutions choosing to shield abusers rather than protect victims.

  4. Eight women alleged that a former Catholic priest sexually abused them over forty years ago when they were children. They claimed that the then-Archbishop of Seattle transferred him to unsuspecting parishes despite possessing documented accounts of his abuse. The average individual settlement amount over $1 million was a testament to the compounded harm caused by the systemic cover-up of abuse.

  5. This case represents one of the largest settlements in church sex abuse cases. The Archdiocese agreed to a $660 million settlement for 508 victims, translating to an average of $1.3 million per victim. This settlement followed five years of negotiations and marked a significant victory for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

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