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Lawsuits by Victims of Child Abuse

Court rules that man abused as child can sue his former diocese for injuries.

Key point: Minors who are sexually molested by church workers may not sue their church after the statute of limitations has expired. Generally, the statute of limitations begins to run on a minor's 18th birthday. In some states the statute of limitations does not begin to run until an adult survivor of child sexual molestation "discovers" that he or she has experienced physical or emotional suffering as a result of the molestation. Other states do not recognize this so-called "discovery rule."

• A federal court in Vermont ruled that an adult who claimed to have been sexually abused by a nun some 40 years earlier could sue a Catholic diocese for his alleged injuries. In 1992, an adult male (the plaintiff) began receiving intensive psychotherapy for what he alleges were severe emotional problems. As a result of this therapy, the plaintiff claims that he discovered he was the victim ...

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Posted:
  • September 1, 1994

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