Victorian child sex abuse survivor wins second chance to sue Catholic Church in ‘landmark’ case

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

September 30, 2020

By James Hancock

A victim of historical child sexual abuse has won what is believed to be a landmark case in Victoria against the Catholic Church, giving him a second shot at suing for compensation.

Hourigan died in 1995.

The victim, referred to as WCB, lost his childhood and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder for more than 40 years, the court was told.

He sued the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sale for “personal injury suffered” in 1996 and settled for $32,500.

But yesterday, a judge set aside the settlement because of recent legal changes and found the case should be reconsidered.

“The settlement embodied in the deed was not a reasonable assessment of the plaintiff’s loss and damage in 1996, or adequate compensation by today’s standards,” the judge found.

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