Diocese of Erie Compensation Program For Abuse Victims Open February 15

| Feb 9, 2019 | Catholic Church


The claims period for victims of clergy sexual abuse seeking compensation in the Diocese of Erie will begin February 15, 2019 and continue for a six-month period through August 15, 2019. Now is the time to act if you wish to pursue such a claim for sexual abuse by a priest. Horowitz Law has assembled the most comprehensive list available anywhere of clergy abuse of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Erie. It is an excellent resource if you are looking a particular priest’s history within the Diocese of Erie and whether other abuse allegations have been publicly lodged about the priest.

Sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz is representing clients in this program right now and registering them for their claims to be evaluated for compensation. The compensation fund is being administered by Ken Feinberg, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and expert on compensation funds. Feinberg handled the compensation fund for 9/11 victims and similar compensation funds for Dioceses in New York and Pennsylvania.

For decades, the Catholic Church has been plagued by the scandal of clergy sexual abuse by clergy. An extraordinary number of people with improper sexual impulses seem to have made their way into the priesthood in the Catholic Church. Sadly, the Diocese of Erie in its history has been plagued by many of the same issues Some of the more notorious perpetrators in the Diocese of Erie include priests Chester “Chet” Gawronski, Michael Barletta, David Paulson, Salvatore Luzzi, Gerard Krebs, Joseph Jerge, Samuel Slocum, and David Dobrowolski, among many others.

“This is something owed to victims,” said Bishop Persico of the Diocese of Erie. “They were harmed by church leaders and people who worked for the church. This is a matter of justice.” Letters will be going out this week to victims who are already known to the Diocese through prior reports. However, a prior report by the victim to the Diocese is not a requirement to be eligible for the program. Those who do not receive letters can still file claims. The Diocese of Erie includes nearly two hundred fifty thousand Catholics residing in thirteen counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania.. The thirteen counties are Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Erie, Forest, Warren, Clarion, Crawford, Mercer, and Venago.

We understand that victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy often are unable to report their abuse when it occurs. Typically, sexual abuse of a child occurs after a period of grooming so that the child feels guilty and responsible. Often, the child feels threatened, or fears that no one would believe them if they report the abuse because it involves an esteemed authority figure. Many children who have reported their abuse were called liars or punished by their own parents for speaking ill of a priest. The shame and fear often last long into adulthood. Fortunately, there is now a compensation plan to give victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Erie the strength to come forward and begin the healing process.

If you want to participate in the Diocese of Erie’s compensation program, our firm will assist you in retrieving and ultimately submitting the necessary papers and application for compensation. This may include parish records, sacramental records medical/therapy records, educational records, law enforcement records and witness statements. If you file an claim for compensation, you are under no obligation to accept the financial offer of settlement by the Diocese of Erie.

It is important that your claim be properly prepared by an experienced attorney before being evaluated by the Administrators of the Compensation Program. For example, medical records and educational records should be collected and reviewed, oral and written communications concerning the clergy sexual abuse should be examined, and law enforcement records should be obtained. You want to make sure that the facts you submit to the Diocese are accurate and complete. The Administrators must find that the facts and circumstances of the claim of clergy sexual abuse demonstrate that the allegations are credible and that the clergy sexual abuse victim provides sufficient grounds to justify the payment of compensation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing sexual abuse victims of Catholic priests and other clergy of the Diocese of Erie. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abuse by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office. Although many years have passed, people who have been sexually abused by priests of the Diocese of Erie can now receive compensation. Contact attorney Adam Horowitz at 954-641-2100 or [email protected] to find out how to submit your claim today.