Pennsylvania's high court on July 21 dealt a blow to victims of child sexual abuse, throwing out a lawsuit by a woman whose lower court legal victory had given hope to others with similarly outdated claims who'd sued in the wake of a landmark report that documented decades of child molestation within the Catholic church in Pennsylvania.
Some child sexual abuse survivors might have to wait over two years to pursue legal claims because of a bureaucratic bungle that prompted outcry across the political spectrum and the resignation of Pennsylvania's top state elections official.
Pennsylvania's highest court on Tuesday grappled with whether a woman's lawsuit on claims of sexual abuse by a priest decades ago should be allowed to proceed — a lower-court ruling that has launched many other lawsuits since it was issued a year ago.
Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses have been hit with about 150 lawsuits from people who say they were sexually abused as children by priests and hope a state court decision last year has shown a way around time limits for legal claims.
A mid-level appeals court decision issued last summer that allowed some victims of childhood sexual abuse a way to pursue lawsuits despite time limits will be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the justices announced Mar.2.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, six months after disclosing it had paid millions of dollars to people sexually abused as children by its clerics.
A legislative tug-of-war over altering rules for child sexual abuse claims that occurred too long ago to file lawsuits resumed Wednesday in Pennsylvania’s Capitol, with victims and their advocates on one side and lawyers for religious organizations and the state’s insurance industry on the other.