Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer - Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlements MN

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church, you are not aloneWe are here to help you.  Please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and a Minnesota Sexual Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case.   Help is available nationwide.  There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation.  Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing.  Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Minnesota

Reasons to call

  • Hold the church and priests accountable
  • Prevent this from happening to someone else
  • Help with the road to recovery – settlement money can provide financial security for you.  It can also help pay for therapy, rehabilitation, and medical treatment

Please call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 or fill out our confidential contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your case.  Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Minnesota

Twin Cities Minnesota Archdiocese Bankruptcy Settlement: The Basics

When a child is sexually abused by a trusted adult, receiving a money settlement can only begin to address the harm they have suffered. Victims of child predators can suffer psychological and physical symptoms, including depression that linger for decades, anxiety, eating disorders, and even increased risk of heart disease. While a legal settlement cannot undo their pain, it can improve their quality of life and serve as restitution from those who harmed them.

Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

In the case of the Catholic church sexual abuse, those who are culpable include not just individual abusers but church hierarchy who were complicit in concealing what they were doing. In many cases, when their behavior was exposed, dioceses were ordered to pay damages to groups of victims in the tens of millions.

In the Twin Cities diocese, throughout the 1980s and 90s, three bishops, Roach, Flynn and Nienstadt, shuffled predator priests from job to job as accusations arose, in a pattern that is all too common.  But finally, someone took action. That person was Jennifer Haselberger, the archdiocese's chancellor for canonical affairs. In 2013, she resigned her post as the archbishop's top advisor on church law after having repeatedly tried to encourage Niestedt and others to take action on problem priests. She then went to MPR News with the story.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Minnesota

The facts that came to light after the press investigated were shocking. In some cases, Flynn and others made deals with problem priests, offering them money (on top of the pensions they would ordinarily receive) to bribe them into retiring early.  Saint Paul police have investigated numerous abuse claims in the area, and the diocese has reportedly been uncooperative. Niestedt issued an apology and released a list of priests credibly accused of abuse. However, he himself stepped down from leadership after having been accused of inappropriately touching a boy (an accusation he denies).

A jaw-dropping 450 victims of clergy abuse collectively sued the twin cities dioceses. In May of 2018, the parties agreed on a settlement plan for damages of $210,290,724, which will be deposited into a fund and shared among the victims. It will be paid partly by the diocese, partly by insurers. The agreement came in the wake of the diocese initiating bankruptcy proceedings

Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

By filing for bankruptcy before the civil suits against them were fully underway, the church sought to limit the amount they would have to pay. The Chapter 11 filing gave the archdiocese more time to reorganize its finances as it faces huge potential costs tied to clergy sex abuse, and required victims to file claims in federal court as creditors of the archdiocese instead of filing civil suits.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Minnesota

Jim Keenan, an abuse survivor involved in the proceedings, said that “I don't want anyone to leave the room and think that the Catholic church sexual scandal is now over. It's not...[but] It changed the playing field. They have to listen to victims now. I do believe we have made the world safer."

Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

The Impact of the Child Victims Act in Minnesota

In May of 2013, the state of Minnesota passed the Child Victims Act - groundbreaking legislation that lifted the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. Previously, the state laws required that victims come forward before the age of 24, which left many victims without a recourse for justice when they were ready to pursue a case later in adulthood. As part of the Child Victims Act of Minnesota, the state also enacted a three-year window in which victims of childhood sexual abuse could file a suit, regardless of the length of time that had passed since the crime took place.

This window of opportunity saw a flood of victims coming forward, and few organizations were hit as hard as the Catholic churches of Minnesota. As the end of the three-year window in 2016, over 1,000 individuals had come forward to file criminal or civil suits against their abusers, and many of these survivors were victims of abuse from religious clergy. In fact, hundreds of claims were made against the Twin Cities archdiocese, as well as several other Dioceses within the state borders.

Minnesota Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

The impact of these victims coming forward was far-reaching and even today the effects continue to be seen - particularly in the religious community. The Child Victims Act has resulted in:  

• Bankruptcy of Religious Organizations: There have been two bankruptcies filed on behalf of MN religious dioceses due to the expenses of compensation and legislative costs incurred to handle the hundreds of sexual abuse cases against them.

• Release of Records: Countless records have been released as a result of the lawsuits, showing the enabling of sexual abuse by the Church and the lack of accountability in fully investigating and reporting child sexual abuse claims over the decades.

• Identified Abusers: As of May 2016, more than 250 different abusers were identified, with over 100 priests publicly named as credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

• Public Apologies: Following the Twin Cities archdiocese, when the Duluth diocese filed for bankruptcy as a result of the numerous sexual abuse claims, the Duluth Bishop released a statement acknowledging the suffering of victims and apologizing for the years of suffering incurred by those involved.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer MN

The full impact of the Child Victims Act of Minnesota remains to be seen, and survivors hope that the magnitude of the sexual abuse exposed brings lasting changes to local religious organizations. While this window to bypass the statute of limitations for sexual abuse gave victims the chance to seek justice for the wrongs committed against them, it also gave many of them the opportunity to finally begin the healing process from the sexual abuse they endured in childhood.
MN Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer Michigan - Free Confidential Consultation - 1-866-777-2557

Call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 for a Free, Confidential Consultation.  No Legal Fees Unless You Receive Settlement. 

Priest Sex Abuse Lawyer