Prescription appeal denied; suit against Diocese can proceed

KATC-TV [Lafayette LA]

May 5, 2022

A lawsuit against the Diocese of Lafayette can move forward, an appeals court decided.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeal denied a challenge to a lower court ruling that allowed a lawsuit against the Diocese over a sexual assault that happened years ago to move forward under a recent Louisiana law. The law took effect in 2021, and gave child abuse victims a three-year window to file suit against anyone involved in their abuse, regardless of how long ago the abuse happened. If anyone was convicted in criminal court, there’s no time limit at all under the new law. Previous law allowed people to file suit for ten years after their 18th birthday.

“Last year, the Louisiana legislature and Governor Edwards unanimously agreed that for a period of three years, survivors of child sexual abuse will face no statute of limitations,” said Richard Trahant, who represents the plaintiff. “Since then, Judge Lori Hulin and now three judges on the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal have found that the law is constitutional and applies no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. This ruling is a victory for all sexual abuse survivors in the State of Louisiana. We expect that the Diocese of Lafayette will continue to fight this law, and in doing so, continue to fight child-rape victims tooth and nail.”

We’ve reached out to the Diocese, but in general they do not comment on pending litigation.