Law Review: Seven more victims sue the Catholic Church
A few years ago, this column summarized the statistics of thousands of lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church for ignoring the molestation of children by priests who historically were transferred to other parishes where their pedophilia continued. Today’s case, Ratcliff v. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, analyzes a new case filed by seven adults.
YET ANOTHER LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Seven adults claiming they were molestation victims, sued the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and related individuals and entities for molestation allegedly committed by Father Christopher Cunningham. Father Cunningham was ordained a priest in 1990. Prior to that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had received complaints that no less than 22 of its priests had sexually molested children. The archdiocese adopted new policies for the prevention of child molestation but as this case highlights, the policies were largely ignored.
CHURCH IGNORES REPEATED COMPLAINTS
This Opinion out of Second Appellate District Court of Appeal highlights claim-by-claim a series of egregious acts by Father Cunningham and the Archdiocese’s repeated failure to investigate – instead reassigning and promoting Father Cunningham – which allowed the molestations to continue. Insiders in the church described privately that Father Cunningham was “immature” – code for suspicions of molestation. The complaints and suspicions were ignored.
The Archdiocese defended the lawsuits brought by the seven victims on technical grounds. In the end, the plaintiffs were allowed to continue their lawsuits – and rightly so when you see the evidence.
DEADLINE TO FILE SUIT AGAINST THE CHURCH
The California legislature has been active passing laws opening the door for victims of priest abuse to file lawsuits years after the occurrence – recognizing that victim’s memories of the events are often suppressed for years. Notwithstanding these codes favoring victims, ultimately a deadline to sue will pass, so if you are a victim, timely filing a claim is critical.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOAs, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at email@example.com or http://www.portersimon.com
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
What do I have to do to help people care for the wild spaces I love? Previous generations took actions to protect our forests and wilderness. Those who came before us took the time and…