November 17, 2020
West Virginia’s attorney general cannot use a consumer protection law to sue a Roman Catholic diocese over sexual abuse allegations, the state’s high court said Monday.
The West Virginia Supreme Court issued its opinion in response to a lawsuit the state filed last year accusing the Wheeling-Charleston diocese of failing to publicly disclose the employment of sexual abusers in its schools and camps. The absence of such disclosure amounted to a violation of a consumer protection law, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey argued. Attorneys for the diocese asked the court to dismiss the suit.
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