Earlier this year, six of California’s Catholic dioceses announced that they would be participating in voluntary compensation and settlement funds similar to those now open in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Now victims who are known to the California Diocese are starting to receive packets in the mail alerting them that they submit a claim for compensation. The funds are expected to be open to anyone sexually abused as children by diocesan priests in the dioceses of Fresno, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Sacramento, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The funds are being administered by Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington D.C.-based attorney who has been hired by other Catholic dioceses nationally to administer similar funds. The funds provide a method for victims of sexual abuse by clergy to receive compensation in a confidential, abbreviated process that is less involved than traditional litigation. For many survivors of abuse, the funds provide the only means of obtaining any acknowledgment from Church leaders that they were wronged – including those abused in California who are unable to file a lawsuit due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. However, the fund is not for everyone and the decision whether to participate in a fund or accept an award from the fund should be made in consultation with a sexual abuse lawyer.
Unlike similar funds in New York and Pennsylvania, the dioceses participating in the California fund have arbitrarily excluded claims for those harmed by visiting priests or clergy who were members of religious orders, like the Jesuits or Franciscans.
Our attorneys are experienced at handling cases in similar compensation funds nationwide. We also continue to monitor developments in California’s legislature that could open additional doors for those hurt as children in California, including those abused by non-diocesan clergy.
Our experience tells us that compensation fund claimants benefit greatly from the assistance of attorneys, so if you you have received a packet from the fund for the Diocese compensation fund in California, please contact us today to discuss your options. You do not have to go this road alone, and our lawyers already know the roadmap. Call us today.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Catholic Dioceses of California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Catholic dioceses of California now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.