An update on the Catholic abuse lawsuits


Photo/ Kline and Specter

The trials of the Catholic abuse lawsuits start this upcoming week.

Isa Chavez, Social Media Manager

Isa Chavez
Social Media Manager

Thanks to a new law enacted by 15 states, abuse cases and accusations made against the Catholic clergy are going to court next week. According to The Associated Press, there are over 5,000 cases waiting to be litigated.

Accusations against the Catholic clergy are nothing new. However, the church held on to hope that these cases couldn’t be taken to court based on the statute of limitations. But, in various states across the country, a new law waves the statute of limitations to extend them back to the time of the abuse.

These cases, if taken to court, could cost the Catholic church and clergy of an estimated four billion dollars. That hunk of change is what is motivating over 5,000 cases waiting for their day in court to continue. The lawyer behind it all, Adam Slater, says that nearly every person he speaks to is too afraid to take it to court, which is why so many people stay anonymous.

These cases average $350,000 to 1.3 million dollars in payout from the Catholic church. The church, centered in New York and New Jersey, is considering bankruptcy.

The Associated Press reports that lawyers following these cases have seen clients motivated by the #MeToo movement, started to encourage others who have faced abuse to come forward.

Lawyer Adam Slater says that credibly, there are 5,173 priests that are accused of some form of abuse. States that have changed their laws to evolve to these lawsuits include California, New Mexico, and Alabama. In 2020, thousands of these cases are expected to be seen and tried.