Religious Order Wins Rulings in Priest Abuse Case

By Randall Chase
October 29, 2009

DOVER, Del. (AP) ? A judge has ruled in favor of a religious order on several issues in a priest sex abuse lawsuit.

Judge Calvin Scott this week granted summary judgment to the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales on several counts filed by Charles Sheehan, who claims he was abused by an Oblate priest.

Scott said gross negligence is the only claim that alleged victims can make in lawsuits involving abuse that happened years ago. He disallowed Sheehan's other claims, including fraud, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.

The Diocese of Wilmington, which has filed for bankruptcy protection and is a defendant in Sheehan's case, is trying to prevent him from pursuing his claims against the diocese during the bankruptcy. Sheehan's trial against the Oblates starts Nov. 16.


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