Clerical abuse victim sues Slater and Gordon over church payout

The Age

August 21, 2020

By Cameron Houston

A victim of one of Victoria’s most notorious paedophile priests says law firm Slater and Gordon bungled his compensation claim against the Catholic Church, which paid out $75,000 for horrific sexual abuse.

Slater and Gordon has been accused of negligence in documents filed in the Supreme Court, including claims it failed to advise its client of his alternative rights to compensation that could have exceeded $1 million.

However, a Slater and Gordon spokeswoman said the statement of claim lodged by rival firm Arnold Thomas and Becker was “misconceived and fails to reflect current developments in the law”.

Slater and Gordon indicated it would vigorously defend the case, which could have implications for more than 320 victims of clerical abuse, who received about $10 million from the church’s compensation scheme set up in 1996 by George Pell.

Known as the Melbourne Response, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne appointed an independent commissioner who investigated allegations of abuse and made a determination based on the evidence.

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