Lawyers for alleged clergy-abuse victims say the 24 lawsuits already filed against the Roman Catholic Church in Colorado will go forward despite the legislature’s rejection of an extended statute of limitations for sex-abuse victims.
"The existing lawsuits were brought before this legislation came about," said Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney who has sued dioceses across the country, including in Colorado. "This failure by public-policy makers will have no impact on the lawsuits. There are arguments around the statute of limitations we have right now."
Added Adam Horowitz, a Miami attorney who also has sued the church in Colorado on behalf of multiple clients, "The lawsuits against the Catholic Church will go forward, with or without the legislation."
Current law requires sexual-abuse lawsuits to be filed within six years of the victim turning 18.
Late Thursday, the House rejected Senate attempts to remove the statute of limitations for one year, raising doubts whether any legislation to make it easier for victims to sue institutions in the future will pass before the legislature adjourns this week.
At least it is good news to hear that this law which was mainly pointed at the Catholic Church did not pass. Archbishop Chaput had an excellent article in the latest First Things on the subject of this bill and it’s inequity considering that the large majority of sexual abuse occurs in public schools which because of special protection allows almost no litigation. I especially liked this one section from his article.
Catholics can live with hard laws if they serve the common good—but the laws need to be equally hard for all offending persons and institutions, with the same rules and penalties and no hidden escape clauses.
[Full Article from First Things]