Clergy Childhood Molestation Lawsuit Stopped by Court Ruling

The California State Supreme Court ruled last week that six brothers who claimed they were abused by a priest as children waited too long to file a childhood molestation lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland.

The child molestation lawsuit filed in 2007 alleged the brothers suffered injury as adults as a consequence of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in the 1970’s. When Father Donald Broderson was deposed in connection with a civil lawsuit, Broderson admitted to sexually abusing the brothers. It was only after the 2005 admission by Broderson and subsequent 2006 meeting with a mental health practitioner that the brothers claim that they discovered the relationship between their adult psychological problems and the childhood abuse.

Attorneys for the brothers said the statute of limitations did not begin until 2006 when they first discovered their psychological injury or illness.

The State Supreme Court said that the time limit for the brothers to file a claim expired in 1998 and that changes to the law in 2002 by legislators did not specifically address the retro-activity of claims when the statute expired.

California is one of 28 states that have adopted an extension of the statute of limitations based on the “discovery” of child sexual abuse or its effects. The discovery rule allows for civil lawsuits when they are within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness was caused by the sexual abuse. The statute of limitations that applies is the one that was in place at the time of the childhood molestation.

If you have been a victim of childhood molestation and need to talk confidentially to an experienced attorney, call the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard. We’re compassionate childhood molestation victim attorneys.

Source: The Recorder