BALTIMORE - The Child Victims Act of 2023 is now in effect, removing the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits.
Theis a win for survivors who plan to sue the Archdiocese of Baltimore for alleged abuse.
However, on Friday, the.
The director of the Maryland Survivors Network for Those Abused By Priests is outraged about it.
"They're playing the victim against the victims…" Maryland SNAP Director David Lorenz said. "They don't even know how many cases are going to be filed against them but they've already declared bankruptcy."
According to an, about 150 people connected to the church allegedly abused more than 600 victims over the course of decades.
WJZ spoke with attorney Patrick Seidel. He explained why the church filed for bankruptcy.
"This is all going go in front of a bankruptcy judge," Seidel said. "They are going to identify all the claims during the bankruptcy proceedings. They're going to identify a pool of assets that they have for those claims. Then they're going to cut up the pie, so to speak, and distribute what they have to the people who file their claims. If you don't file your claim within that proceeding, there's not going to be a mechanism for you to recover any amount of money. So, it kind of shields them from a full payout for each victim."
Archbishop William Lori also sent out a statement Friday explaining the decision, saying in part, "With an approved plan under Chapter 11, the Archdiocese will be reorganized, victim-survivors will be equitably compensated, and the Church will continue its mission and ministries."
Seidel expects survivors to start filing lawsuits tomorrow.
Archbishop Lori believes it will take about two to three years to work through bankruptcy proceedings.
Here's the full statement by Archbishop William Lori.
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