New York Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Catholic Church Clergy Abuse in New York
New York Abuse Litigation Lawyers
Are you, or your loved one, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic priests in New York? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can serve as your legal advocates to ensure that the predator is held legally and financially accountable.
Our dedicated team of legal representatives will fight to protect the rights of anyone who suffered sexual abuse and provide a safe place to talk about what happened. Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers will provide a safe environment to share confidential or sensitive information and discuss legal options.
Call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss legal remedies and answers you are entitled to receive. Our personal injury law firm has a comprehensive understanding of New York tort law and uses the legal system to help survivors seek justice through a childhood sexual abuse case.
Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Clergy Seek Justice
Misconduct by Catholic priests has been unfortunately rampant throughout the United States for much of the last century just as it has been in New York State. The Catholic leaders' newfound commitment for transparency and intention might ensure that sexually abused victims receive justice, decades after not reporting child sex abuse to local law enforcement.
However, there are still thousands of child sexual abuse victims who endured horrific exploitation at the hands of priests as children in their catholic diocese or religious order. New cases are being filed by victims of sexual abuse practically on a daily basis, accusing the Roman Catholic clergy of sexual abuse.
Roman Catholic Church religious leaders are now finally being made to answer for the massive child sexual abuse cover-up that they orchestrated in cases where the abuse occurred decades ago. There is a heightened focus on the legal rights of clergy sexual abuse victims as New York and many other states have made it easier for those harmed by childhood abuse to file civil claims against their abusers.
There are estimates that religious institutions may face more than 5,000 new lawsuits and resolve survivor’s settlements totaling over $4 billion in clergy abuse cases. Were you hurt by criminal conduct as a child, our legal team can initiate a personal injury court case on your behalf.
Call for a free case evaluation at (888) 424-5757 for immediate legal advice. A child sexual abuse attorney is standing by to answer your questions, report abuse, and help you seek justice, even if the trauma involving a clergy member happened over the past few decades.
The New York, NY Catholic Church
Over seven million Catholics in the State of New York out of a total population of 19.3 million in America makes the church the largest religious institution in the state. There are seven dioceses and one archdiocese in New York, including:
- The Archdiocese of New York
- Diocese of Albany
- Diocese of Brooklyn
- Diocese of Buffalo
- Diocese of Ogdensburg
- Diocese of Rochester
- Diocese of Rockville Centre
- Diocese of Syracuse
Catholic officials manage over 1,500 parishes and 655 Catholic schools statewide that educate approximately 215,000 elementary school students. Catholic services also include health care and human services throughout the state.
New York Child Victims Act
Like New Jersey and California, last year New York also changed its laws that govern the time limits in Catholic Church sexual abuse cases for victims to seek justice and compensation by filing claims. Signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo and effective August 14, 2019, New York instituted a one-year waiver of its statute of limitations in sexual abuse lawsuits.
Currently, plaintiffs may file civil claims for the horrific clergy sexual abuse that they endured no matter when it occurred. This one-year window means that people who were previously unable to file a civil lawsuit have longer to do so.
There is talk this waiver may be extended for another year once it expires. Many believe that one year simply is not enough time for plaintiffs to hire a sexual abuse attorney and compile their case.
In May 2020, the protections afforded by New York's Child Victims Act were extended until January 2021. The new law provides new legal remedies for sexual abuse victims finally coming forward to tell law enforcement what happened.
The extended compensation program arising from the Child Victims Act involves only civil legal action, and not felony criminal charges or misdemeanor charges held against those who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.
In many sex abuse cases, priests and other clergy members who have been criminally charged are held accountable in civil court when child victims file claims against their abuser and the church that use their power to protect their employee.
New Statute of Limitations Extension for Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse
In August 2020, the New York Legislature extended the statute of limitation’s timeline to August 14, 2021. Survivors of sexual abuse must act now and not bank on lawmakers extending this period yet again.
Catholic Church leaders have already settled cases for millions of dollars to answer complaints, claims, and lawsuits filed by individuals who were harmed when children by priests, pastors, deacons, teachers, coaches, and laypeople involved in the ministry.
New York’s Child Victims Act also changed the statute of limitations in sexual exploitation cases after the waiver expires. Before, victims of sexual abuse had five years from when they were harmed by a clergy sexual abuse event.
The changes to New York law now extend the limitation survivors have for legal recourse and to confront their abuser, seek accountability, and file a civil claim before the victim’s 55th birthday. The newly enacted changes removed the previous ninety-day notice of sexual abuse claim requirements for the victim-survivors, or their abuse attorney to bring a case against school districts and municipalities involved in sexual assault.
The statute applies to any claimant seeking recovery of “damages for physical, psychological, or other injury or condition” caused by a “sexual offense.” The offense may involve sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual contact, sexual misconduct, or incest.
Personal injury lawyers specializing in sexual assault cases likely conduct investigations into the abusers' inappropriate behavior and the Catholic leaders' choice to stand by the predator at the victim's expense.
New York Catholic Church Abuse Court Cases
The New York Archdiocese set up an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program to make amends for their credibly accused priests and other religious leaders involved with the sexual abuse of children. The program uses the archdiocese's funds to give victims a voice to pursue justice, file a claim, and speak freely about the molestation the priest committed.
In one New York case, the Diocese of Brooklyn reached a historic settlement with four plaintiffs, agreeing to pay them a total of $27.5 million for their sexual abuse claims over an assault that occurred when they were children. This settlement amount is much higher than the average clergy sexual abuse payment.
In this case, the child victims who allegedly suffered sexual abuse state the misconduct occurred over a six-year period at the hands of someone who was associated with the diocese but was not an employee.
Civil lawsuits have not just been limited to dioceses in the New York City area. Just since the NY Child Victim's Act was signed, fifty civil lawsuits with sexual abuse civil claims involving children and teenagers have been filed against the Rochester diocese, long after the statute of limitations expired.
In 2019, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo paid a total of $17.5 million in monetary compensation to settle 106 child sex molestation cases that were filed against it involving credibly accused religious leaders. In fact, one month after the enactment of the New York Child Victims Act, the Diocese of Buffalo had the most civil lawsuits filed against it out of any defendant in the state.
The Buffalo Diocese has potential liability with priest sexual abuse victims is so high that it has already entered bankruptcy court seeking protection. Many of these cases involved church officials who knew of the allegations long ago when the abusers were still alive.
Catholic Lawsuit Settlements
The Brooklyn settlement described above involving the Roman Catholic Church is unusually high for litigation against religious institutions. The Associated Press (AP) reports that the national average settlement in a Church abuse case involving a priest or clergy member harming minors is roughly $350,000.
However, there was a large financial agreement in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that resulted in a payment of $1.3 million per plaintiff. Some clergy abuse survivors received significantly higher payouts in cases involving sexual predators and the church.
Numerous factors can impact potential payouts in your clergy abuse case, including the Roman Catholic diocese’s financial condition assets available through its balance sheet and insurance coverage. The flood of clergy assault lawsuits is expected to place a severe financial strain on the church involving financial settlements and jury verdicts in the years ahead.
However, there will still be money to settle sex molestation cases, even if the diocese is seeking bankruptcy protection. Thus, if you have been a victim of clergy abuse, lawyers can help ensure you receive financial compensation for the alleged abuse. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.
New York State Sexual Abuse Damages
The settlements described above have several different elements of damages that have been suffered abuse by priests, clergy, and laypersons. Sexual abuse can have a number of different impacts, and each of them can result in compensation.
Some of the parts of damages for abuse survivors paid by their abusers and the church include compensation that involves:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma
- Lost wages if the effects of the abuse have decreased earnings potential
- The costs of treatment and care, including bills for psychological and psychiatric care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
The victims' damages from childhood sex assault involving accused predator priests can be considerable. Priest abuse has kept many sexually abused victims from living an enjoyable, normal life.
Time Is of the Essence to File a Clergy Sexual Abuse Claim
As of now, victims have a limited amount of time to file a sexual molestation lawsuit in civil court to take advantage of the one-year window. Even if victims do not need to take advantage of the relaxed time limits, they should still file an abuse lawsuit as soon as possible so that the evidence of the misconduct is preserved.
Even if the incidents occurred long ago, victims might still be able to file a civil action against the perpetrator and church. Your trial lawyer can quickly resolve a confidential abused case with tact and discretion while fighting hard for your legal rights.
Recent changes in the law have extended the victims' time to file a claim or lawsuit against any priests, private institutions, and religious organizations that committed molestation against the young or covered up what happened.
Hire a Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today
Are you the survivor of sexual abuse caused by religious authorities? Have you been physically or emotionally injured through the despicable act of a priest, archbishop, bishop, teacher, coach, or another religious worker? Have you made allegations against your abuser, or remain silent for years?
Contact a New York clergy abuse lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to set up a new client confidential case review at no charge to you. All information you share with our sexual abuse attorneys will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Your sex abuse lawyer will handle our clients' cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we are successful in helping you obtain financial compensation.
Our personal injury attorneys help fight for victims of clergy abuse to get the compensation that you deserve. We ensure that the predator who abuse was held responsible for their despicable act to ensure that justice is served.