State appeals court overturns dismissal of lawsuit against Diocese of Winona; case will head for jury trial

Winona Daily News

September 25, 2018

By John Casper Jr.

A lawsuit brought against the Diocese of Winona by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a St. Mary’s Catholic Church priest is heading to a jury trial.

That was the ruling of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which reversed in part a summary judgment dismissing claims of negligence by the Winona County District Court. The unpublished opinion, released Monday, affirmed dismissal of the suit against St. Mary’s, but the three-member appellate court disagreed with Judge Nancy Buytendorp’s ruling to dismiss two claims of negligence against the diocese, basing its decision on a letter from Bishop Edward Fitzgerald to the accused priest, the Rev. Richard Hatch, before he was placed at St. Mary’s.

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