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Buffalo Diocese asks to halt sex abuse lawsuits during bankruptcy filings

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, currently dealing with filing for Bankruptcy due to the expenses of sexual abuse charges and COVID-19 expenses, is seeking legal action to stop all current outstanding lawsuits against claims of clergy sexual abuse.

The Diocese of Buffalo is seeking injunction on lawsuits that have been filed under the CVA (Child Victims Act, which is a one year window for victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward after the prior statute of limitations had prevented them from doing so. This CVA window, due to expire in August, has allowed at least 250 new lawsuits to be filed against the Diocese since August 2019. With courts closed due to OVID-19, the window is soon to expire and victims are left helpless unable to file suits.

The bankruptcy filing has temporarily halted the lawsuits against Catholic schools and parishes and unless the diocese grants a permanent injunction, they could be moved into state supreme court. 

“Pausing litigation will allow for all parties to engage in settlement negotiations in the context of the diocese’s Chapter 11 case and to attempt to reach a global resolution of all claims (including claims against parishes and schools), without the distraction of piecemeal litigation,” the diocese said in a statement Monday.

The diocese is claiming that continued litigation would reduce future settlements and deplete their funds and its insurance reserves.

This is clearly a move to prevent childhood survivors to come forward and file decades old abuse lawsuits and it is an act that the diocese is trying to protect its financial assets and prevent any access to priests records.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual abuse, Herman Law may be able to help you achieve justice. Jeff Herman is a trailblazer in the representation of victims of sexual abuse, devoting 100% of his practice to the cause. Renowned for his aggressive and tireless advocacy on behalf of his clients, and his determination to help his clients heal through the litigation process, Jeff understands the unique issues involved in the representation of survivors of rape and sexual abuse. 

Jeff Herman and his team only handle sexual abuse cases and have represented over 2,000 victims since 1997. The firm offers free consultations and works on a contingency basis. Now is the time to reach out, seek justice and begin to heal.

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