Deadline to File Childhood Sex Abuse Claims Against Diocese of Syracuse Is Set

Legal Examiner – Saunders and Walker Attorney Blog

November 2, 2020

By Joseph H. Saunders

Chief Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of New York stated that survivors of child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Syracuse will have until April 15, 2021 to file claims against the Diocese.

The Diocese of Syracuse filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2020 after dozens of abuse survivors filed abuse lawsuits against the Diocese. The bankruptcy filings show the diocese has assets of more than $10 million but less than $50 million. Lawyers for the diocese from Syracuse firm Bond, Schoeneck & King estimated the diocese has between 100 and 200 creditors and up to $100 million in liabilities.

The filings also revealed the diocese received a $1.3 million federal Paycheck Protection Program loan to help cover expenses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Diocese of Syracuse, along with the Dioceses of Buffalo, Rochester, and Rockville Centre sought bankruptcy protection after the Child Victims’ Act was extended for another year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bankruptcy filings provide the beleaguered dioceses an opportunity to re-structure but more importantly it shields them from potentially thousands of abuse lawsuits that would have most certainly revealed the nature and extent of the cover-up and corruption that underlies the priest abuse crisis.

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