After Settlement in Original Case, Plaintiffs File New Suits against Diocese of Charleston

By Jack Kuenzie
August 22, 2006

(Camden) August 22, 2006 - John Morris is one of four men who sued the Diocese in Charleston. All four said they were molested by priests in the 1960s and 1970s.

In Morris' case, he named a priest named Lawrence Sheedy, who Morris says molested him at an orphanage in Charleston.

The other plaintiffs said they were abused by a different priest, James Nyhan, in 1978.

The diocese settled the suit, paying cash to the four plaintiffs and agreeing to set up a $12 million fund to pay for any additional abuse cases if they were filed.

Now, new cases have been filed. This time they were filed by two of the original plaintiffs, their wives and a plaintiff's mother. And they say the church is liable due to loss of companionship, technically called loss of consortium.

Morris also says the abuse he suffered prompted him to lie to his wife and mother. But he says they and his family eventually understood and supported him as he grappled with his issues.

The new lawsuit was filed about a week ago.

Previously, the Diocese put out a statement saying that "fairly compensating victims is a matter of justice and promotes healing."

Reported by Jack Kuenzie


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