By Linda Kor
As the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., goes through the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, notification has been provided regarding the time restraints for those individuals who want to file a claim related to abuse by those working for the diocese.
The notification states that individuals must file a claim no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11, if they contend that the Diocese of Gallup is responsible for any injury or other damages caused by sexual abuse, whether by a priest, nun, worker, volunteer, or any employee, person or entity associated with the Diocese of Gallup. The deadline is also for acts that occurred beyond the territory of the Diocese of Gallup for which they claim the Diocese of Gallup is responsible.
The diocese made the determination to file for bankruptcy last year due to the mounting costs of litigation as a result of numerous claims of sexual abuse involving children by former clergy. The most recent list provided by the diocese to the courts indicates 121 alleged victims.
According to the diocese, the claims of sexual abuse stem from incidents that occurred decades ago, primarily in the rural reservation areas and smaller communities, such as Holbrook and Winslow. The diocese includes 53 parishes in a geographic area of more than 55,000 square miles.
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