Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in New York

Diocese of Rockville Centre Files for Bankruptcy:  On October 1, 2020, the Diocese of Rockville Centre filed for bankruptcy.  We have helped hundreds of abuse survivors pursue claims in other Catholic bankruptcies, including the current Dioceses of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.  The bankruptcy does not mean abuse survivors will receive no compensation from the Diocese of Rockville Centre — the bankruptcy simply puts a “pause” on the current lawsuits against the Diocese while a bankruptcy judge decides a fair way to use its assets to compensate abuse survivors and others.  We have put together a “frequently asked questions” based on our experience in other cases, which you can read by clicking here.

Most importantly, the bankruptcy judge will set a “bar date deadline” for abuse survivors to file claims in the bankruptcy.  The deadline may be significantly shorter than the statute of limitations, including the statute of limitations under the Child Victims Act.  If an abuse survivor fails to file a claim by the bar date deadline their claim may be forever “barred” and they may receive no compensation, even if they claim they were not aware of the deadline.  Please contact us to learn your options and to make sure your legal rights are protected.

Child Victims Act Deadline Extended!  On August 3, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed an extension that gives abuse survivors another year (until mid-August 2021) to file a civil claim for the abuse they suffered.  Please remember this extension does *not* apply to defendants who file for bankruptcy — a bankruptcy judge may set a much shorter deadline for people to file claims against a bankrupt defendant.  If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse, please contact us to learn your options and ensure your legal rights are protected.

First Lawsuits Filed Under Child Victims Act:  On August 14, 2019, some of our clients filed the first lawsuits against each Diocese in New York, including the Archdiocese of New York.  Our clients’ cases were filed under the Child Victims Act, which gives all survivors of childhood sexual abuse, regardless of their current age, one year from August 14, 2019, to file a claim for the abuse they suffered.

Below is a list of the lawsuits our clients filed.  If you want to read the lawsuit, click the link and it will open in a new window:

Larney et al. v. Archdiocese of New York et al.

Eskridge et al. v. Diocese of Brooklyn

D’Estries et al. v. Diocese of Rockville Centre et al.

Heldwein et al. v. Diocese of Buffalo et al.

Smith et al. v. Diocese of Albany et al.

Giovati et al. v. Diocese of Rochester

P.V. et al. v. Diocese of Syracuse et al.

M.G. v. Diocese of Ogdensburg

If you or someone you love survived abuse, please contact us right away to learn your options.  The one year provided by the Child Victims Act could be significantly shortened if a defendant, such as a Diocese, files for bankruptcy.  That means your time to take action could be much shorter.

Story Regarding Religious Orders:  Some of our clients recently chose to share their stories about sexual abuse involving religious orders.  The articles include interviews with Michael Pfau, one of the attorneys featured on this website who has represented abuse survivors across the country.  You can watch one of the stories by clicking here and you can read another one of the stories by clicking here.

List of Credibly Abused Priests:  As the Church in New York undergoes more and more scrutiny for how it handled child abuse in its ranks, it is likely that more and more evidence will come to light showing that the Church failed to protect children from sexual predators in its ranks.  The following Dioceses and Archdioceses are located within New York, and each has been subject to investigations into how they handled child sexual abuse in their ranks:

Inside of a Church