For sexual abuse survivors, making the decision to pursue justice isn’t easy. Naturally, having to relive these experiences can be traumatic. If the case involves the clergy or the church, then the power and trust involved can make the process even more stressful.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, you may have legal recourse against the church, religious group, or diocese. Taking the first step is difficult, but the lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs are here to help. Get answers to common questions about these cases and discover how experienced clergy sexual abuse lawyers can work with you.
What to Know About Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases
Although clergy sexual abuse cases frequently make headlines, what happens behind the scenes isn’t common knowledge. Discover what you could gain from pursuing this type of case and when you should take action.
Why Are Clergy Molestation Cases So Complicated?
Like many sexual assault cases, those involving the clergy can be incredibly complex. To get a favorable verdict, your attorney has to demonstrate that the entity that harbored an abuse perpetrator is liable for the abuse. In many cases, the perpetrator and the harboring entity can be held liable for:
- Committing the abuse (perpetrator)
- Aiding and abetting sexual abuse
- Concealing instances of sexual abuse or refusing to investigate reports
- Failing to report sexual abuse to the appropriate authorities
- Failing to establish policies to prevent sexual abuse, including neglecting to do background checks
- Negligent supervision or retention of abusive clergymen
When Do I Have to File a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
If you are a clergy sexual abuse survivor, you should act quickly. We recommend contacting a sexual abuse attorney as soon as possible to make sure you don’t lose an opportunity to file a lawsuit.
Each state has its own statute of limitations, or deadline for taking legal action. If you wait too long, you may forever lose your ability to file suit against a perpetrator or the religious entity he or she is associated with. Once you start working with a lawyer, your legal team can make sure that you don’t miss a deadline and that you can exercise your full legal rights.
How Much Compensation Could I Recover?
Over the past few decades, clergy sexual abuse cases have resulted in billions of dollars in settlements. Cases involving the Catholic church alone have totaled over $3 billion in settlements for survivors.
For clergy sexual abuse cases, the potential settlement amount varies significantly depending on the circumstances. However, for many clergy sexual abuse survivors, a favorable result involves much more than a monetary award. Achieving justice, peace of mind and knowing that the perpetrator can no longer harm others can also be part of the outcome.
How Sexual Abuse Attorneys Can Help With Your Case
Demonstrating legal liability often requires extensive legal research, collecting evidence of abuse or concealment or even working with expert witnesses. To get a positive verdict, you need an experienced legal team at your side. To obtain the settlement you deserve, be sure to choose accomplished sexual abuse attorneys who have extensive experience and your best interests in mind.
Locations We Serve
At Janet, Janet & Suggs, our clergy sexual abuse lawyers have pursued cases nationwide. Our legal team is based in offices across the country, and our attorneys are licensed to practice in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Even if you live in another state, our legal team may still be able to represent you. Our attorneys have obtained court approval to practice in a number of other states.
Why Choose Janet, Janet & Suggs for Your Clergy Sexual Abuse Case
When you work with a firm like Janet, Janet & Suggs, you can expect professional, compassionate treatment. We treat all our clients with the same level of empathy and personal consideration that we would offer our own families.
Because our firm has pursued high-level cases against powerful individuals and organizations for 40 years, you can also trust us to bring decades of knowledge and courtroom experience to the table. We’ve already recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in sexual abuse and assault lawsuits for our clients. Our legal team obtained a $1.88 million verdict for a case involving sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. As the first and only litigation against a Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania, this verdict led to the creation of a new case law concerning sexual abuse.
Let Our Experience Be Your Strength
- For over 40 years, Janet, Janet & Suggs has advocated for survivors of institutional abuse — including those affected by the misconduct of the Catholic Church clergy. Our aggressive litigation and compassionate counsel have earned us a reputation as one of the country’s most trusted sex abuse firms.
- Our sexual abuse attorneys have won nearly $10 million in cases against the Catholic clergy, helping survivors get the justice and compensation they deserve.
- As staunch advocates for survivors of sexual abuse, JJS has relentlessly pursued many sexual predators in high-profile cases, including clergy members. Our nationally recognized attorneys were some of the first to challenge the patterns of child sexual abuse and cover-ups in the Catholic church. Led by renowned attorney Richard M. Serbin, our attorneys secured a significant settlement against an abusive Pennsylvania diocese and bishop. The case also generated new case law pertaining to the state’s sexual abuse laws. You can feel confident that the knowledgeable sexual abuse attorneys at Janet, Janet & Suggs are dedicated to achieving the best possible results for your case. Book a free, no-obligation legal consultation with our firm and learn how our experienced attorneys can assist you.