Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Files for Bankruptcy After Lawsuits
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has filed for bankruptcy following lawsuits brought under New York State's suspension of the statute of limitations for abuse victims.
According to a report by Michael Hill for the Associated Press, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has filed for bankruptcy while facing hundreds of abuse lawsuits, brought about by New York's suspension of the statute of limitations so that childhood abuse victims can pursue older allegations.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger announced the Chapter 11 filing, stating in a press release "The decision to file was not arrived at easily and I know it may cause pain and suffering, but we, as a Church, can get through this and grow stronger together."
Bishop Scharfenberger also said, "our limited self-insurance funds which have been paying those settlements, have been depleted."
According to the report, four other dioceses in New York have also filed for bankruptcy in the wake of lawsuits brought under the Child Victims Act, which sought to give the victims of childhood abuse a chance to seek legal action for old allegations years later through the temporary suspension of the statute of limitations on those claims.
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One attorney representing some plaintiffs, Jeff Anderson, said in a statement "We urge everybody to see the Diocese's strategy for what it is: chicanery designed to perpetuate a $600 million corporation's pattern of decadence, deception, and denial."
Since the statute of limitations was suspended in August 2021, more than 9,000 lawsuits have been filed against various organizations, including churches, hospitals, and schools among others.