|Top Court Rules against Priest in Sex-abuse Suit
By Brian Lilley
October 29, 2010
A church sex abuse lawsuit in Quebec dating back nearly 30 years will go ahead after a Supreme Court ruling Friday.
Shirley Christensen, 37, of Quebec City applied to sue the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec in 2007.
Christensen was seeking $250,000 in damages for sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Paul-Henri Lachance between 1979 and 1981. Lachance, now 79, pleaded guilty in 2009 and was handed an 18-month sentence.
Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit because of an article in the Quebec Civil Code that places a three-year statute of limitations on civil lawsuits.
In her court filings, Christensen claimed to have suffered trauma in 2006 that triggered the memories of the sex abuse. The Supreme Court didn't strike down the statute of limitations on Quebec lawsuits but it told the lower courts to hear the case and consider whether the time limit on this lawsuit should have started in 2006.
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