2-year window for clergy abuse lawsuits sent to state Senate

The Associated Press

September 25, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

The state House overwhelmingly passed a proposal Tuesday to give victims of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania an opportunity to file lawsuits over claims that would otherwise be too outdated to pursue, but a key Senate leader said the current draft had “glaring problems” that required more work.

The House voted 173-21 without debate to send the Senate a bill creating a two-year window for litigation, a way for older victims to pursue lawsuits that fall outside the state’s statute of limitations.

Establishing such a window was among the recommendations in a state grand jury report last month that found hundreds of Roman Catholic priests abused children in the state going back to the 1940s, and that church officials covered it up.

After a closed-door meeting among Senate Republicans to discuss the bill, majority leaders emerged to say they planned to make additional changes, mentioning grand jury recommendations to stop nondisclosure agreements in civil settlements from prohibiting contact with police and changes to rules for reporting suspected child abuse.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.