Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 6, 2023 / 14:24 pm
The Archdiocese of Baltimore will consider filing for bankruptcy as it awaits the implementation of a new law that will end the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits for negligence in relation to child sexual abuse.
Effective Oct. 1, the law will allow a victim of child sex abuse to sue private entities for up to $1.5 million if he or she can show the organization failed to properly respond to sexual abuse that occurred under its watch. Previously, the statute of limitations was seven years after the victim’s 18th birthday.
Because the new law will apply retroactively, victims whose statute of limitations had already passed will be able to file lawsuits against private entities. An attorney’s general report from April accused the archdiocese of covering up child sex abuse for decades, and the archbishop believes this law could lead to multiple lawsuits that could have “devastating financial consequences” for the archdiocese.
Archbishop William Lori issued a public statement Tuesday that said the archdiocese has two goals: “the healing of victim-survivors” and “furtherance of the many ministries of the archdiocese that provide for the spiritual, educational, and social needs of countless people.”