Court halts proceedings in abuse lawsuits

.- Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. halted proceedings in nearly three dozen sex-abuse lawsuits, filed against the Diocese of Pittsburgh, until the state Supreme Court issues an opinion regarding Pennsylvania's statute of limitations, reported the Associated Press. The diocese had asked for a halt in the proceedings given a March ruling of the Superior Court, which declared that Pennsylvania's two-year statute of limitations on personal-injury lawsuits generally prohibits people allegedly abused by clergy decades ago from suing now.

The ruling applied only to claims filed by 18 plaintiffs against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But some lawyers of the Diocese of Pittsburgh say they believe it set a standard that will eventually apply to most of the suits pending against other dioceses across the state.

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