Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

Catholic News Service

September 20, 2018

A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that they submitted the names of all suspected predators.

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The lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas for Allegheny County by two people representing two classes of plaintiffs: survivors of clergy sexual abuse and children currently enrolled in Catholic schools who could be at risk of abuse, according to the lawsuit.

A Pennsylvania man and a Catholic school kindergartner are the representative plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Ryan O’Connor, the adult plaintiff, represents those who were abused. O’Connor, who is Catholic and has children at Catholic school, said he was abused by a priest when he was young.

The child plaintiff, representing Catholic school students, is represented by his mother, Kristen Hancock, a volunteer at her son’s Catholic school.

The defendants include the six dioceses at the center of the grand jury report issued in August: Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Scranton.

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