You may have the right now to file a claim against your abuser in the state of New York, even if your abuse by a clergy member was decades in the past. On January 28, 2019, the Child Victims Act was officially passed into law by the New York State Senate and declared that any survivor of sexual abuse by a clergy member (or teacher, youth counselor, etc.) has the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the clergy member until they reach the age of 55 years old. This law finally gives a voice to those who previously remained terrified or ashamed and failed to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations deadlines established by law.
If you experienced any kind of abuse from a clergy member, learn more about your legal right to bring a claim by visiting with a Buffalo clergy abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 219-9622.
Clergy Abuse Against Adults
While clergy abuse absolutely occurs against minors, it is important to understand that clergy abuse occurs against adults as well. The statute of limitations regarding clergy abuse against adults is much different than that of children in the state of New York. You have a much shorter period of time to bring a claim, and therefore, it remains imperative that you make decisions quickly in order to ensure that your legal rights remain protected and that you still have an ability to seek justice and recourse for your pain and suffering. This is critical to note because many adults feel that they should have known better and feel either ashamed or guilty when they experience clergy abuse.
If you experienced clergy abuse as an adult, contact our legal to learn more about your legal right to bring a claim and how a Buffalo clergy abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can give you legal advice in a private and confidential consultation.
Determining Which Parties Remain Liable Following Clergy Abuse
Most people think that they have a right to file a claim against the actual clergy person following their abuse. While this remains true, a survivor of clergy abuse may also have the legal right to pursue a claim against the religious organization or institution that directly hired and/or supervised the clergy member during the time the abuse happened. The following are the parties that may remain legally responsible and liable to compensate victims for their clergy abuse.
Actual Clergy Member that Committed the Abuse
Clearly, the clergy member that committed the abuse against the victim will remain legally liable for their actions. This is true even if the clergy member is no longer employed or even associated with the religious institution. However, in some cases, the clergy member may have already died, in which case, the victim still has the opportunity to potentially file a claim against the religious institution or organization.
Religious Organization or Institution that Hired or Supervised the Clergy Member
Clergy members are employees, and as such, their employers are responsible for them. Therefore, if a victim can prove that a religious organization or institution failed in any of the following ways, they can file a claim against that organization as well as the clergy member:
- Failed to perform appropriate background checks (both criminal and otherwise) to check for any previous indication of criminal or negligent activity
- Failed to perform any additional due diligence in the hiring process, such as checking references, checking to see if they actually went to the educational institutions listed, or have the credentials cited on a resume
- Failed to appropriately supervise or monitor the clergy member leading to opportunities for the clergy abuse to occur
- Failing to follow up or investigate any claims of clergy abuse made by congregants or any person
- Failure to notify law enforcement of any alleged or discovered clergy abuse within their religious institution or organization
- Failure to have an existing protocol established to handle any allegations of clergy abuse within the religious institution or organization
It is also important to note that a religious organization or institution may have legal liability with respect to not only clergy members but any other employee within their organization that commits abuse against a congregant or minor child.
For example, any Sunday school teacher, bus driver, nun, leader, elder, rabbi, priest, or administrative employee that abuses another person during the course of their employment could result in the victim filing a claim against the religious institution or organization as well as the abuser.
For a free legal consultation with a Clergy Abuse Lawyer serving Buffalo, call (800) 219-9622
Consider Visiting with a Buffalo Clergy Abuse Lawyer
As a survivor of clergy abuse, you may have more legal rights than you know to pursue justice against your abuser, even if the abuse occurred years or decades ago. While coming forward with this type of a claim can prove to be emotionally challenging, doing so will not only afford you the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries and losses but also helps ensure that this type of abuse does not happen against innocent victims in the future.
Our consultations are always completely private and confidential. Learn about all of your legal options when working with Buffalo clergy abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Give us a call at (800) 219-9622 for more information about how we can help you with your case.