CNA Staff, Jun 15, 2020 / 16:41 pm
The Diocese of Rockville Centre has requested a pause in the proceedings of numerous sex abuse lawsuits it is facing, and said it may have to declare bankruptcy if it is not granted.
Two fellow New York dioceses, Buffalo and Rochester, have filed for bankruptcy within the last year. Each diocese had been named in hundreds of clergy sex abuse lawsuits following the opening of a window in the statute of limitations in the state in cases of sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act.
Sean Dolan, director of communications for the Rockville Centre diocese, said it had requested "a stay pending an appeal of the court's denial of its motion to dismiss approximately 35 cases." He said the request reflects the diocese's "dedication to the fair and just treatment of all abuse victims, rather than continuing on a course that is marked by exhausting litigation expenses for the benefit of those racing to the courthouse ahead of others."
Since the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program was established in 2017, he said, the diocese has given over $57 million to 320 victims of sexual abuse. It also has pending offers or is actively investigating another 50 claims, he added.