Erie diocese facing lawsuit over fund for abuse victims


July 17, 2020

By Ed Palattella

Filing of writ signals suit in Erie County Court. Claims linked to St. Hedwig Catholic Church and its long-closed school.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie is the subject of a potential lawsuit over its victims’ compensation fund, a program the diocese created as an alternative to allowing victims to sue over clergy sexual abuse.

Two anonymous plaintiffs have filed paperwork indicating they plan to file a full-blown suit against the diocese in Erie County Court.

Their lawyer told the Erie Times-News that the full details will come out in later filings, but that the plaintiffs are suing because the diocese denied the claims they submitted to the compensation fund, created in 2019.

“The diocese would not offer them anything on the matter,” the lawyer, Bernard Tully, of Pittsburgh, said on Friday. “They voluntarily participated in the program and were not offered anything.”

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